It is in our nature as human beings to want to know our creator. Certainly this pertains to God, or whatever it is that has brought us all into being. But more immediately, I think, it pertains to our parents. Who are these mysterious people who chose to give us birth?
With our parents, we are fortunate that some of the answer we are looking for can often be found directly. Most of us get to spend at least some time with our parents. We can talk with our mom and dad, or if they are gone, with others who knew them. But time is limited, and parents frequently would rather hear more about their kids than talk about themselves. So, perhaps like with the question of God, much of what we would know about our parents must be put together through a sort of sleuthing, of looking for clues and then piecing them together in a story that seems to fit.
In regard to our fathers, I have been thinking that one of the places we find such clues is in a man’s garage. This thought has come to me as I have had the opportunity to visit my parents this week. In the evenings, after my parents have gone to bed, I stand in my dad’s garage and feel his presence.
Hanging above his work bench is a poem. It writes of the lunar landing, in which my dad played a part. It also speaks of Christmas. I mostly know my dad as a man of faith, but many of the things in the garage are a reminder that by education, career, and interest, he is also very much a man of science.
Like this poem, his life stands as an eloquent blending of the two.
In space the lonely missile spins its way,
Beyond the earth’s soft breathing atmosphere
Beyond the note of song the wind’s wild play
The cumulus, the rain’s recurrent tear
Throughout the sky of orbits hung by One
Who saw his handiwork and called it good
There moves this metal deed which man has done
I tremble in the name of brotherhood
For I remember how another night
A new star pierced the heavens from above
Not in the name of power or of might
But in the name of His eternal love
May satellite and star be reconciled
And bring us nearer the waiting child.
--Christie Lund Coles