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..: stories

..: Prescription for a Legacy

I attended a beautiful wedding this weekend in the SF Bay area. The groom walked his parents down the aisle. So did the bride. Then, they read letters to their parents. I was impressed with the true honor they gave their parents. It was obvious that their folks had shaped their lives in healthy, positive ways, and the children were very grateful. During the reception, the idea of family persisted. The father of the bride introduced the family of the groom-- starting with the groom's great-grandparents. He went on to share about the grandparents, and finally the groom's parents. An impressive history full of world travels, business kingdoms and godly traditions were uncovered and shared. Then, the groom's father introduced the bride's family. Also an impressive history. We saw a single frame of the three hour epic movie that each family had created in the last few generations. We were made aware that these two that were making vows today were also participating in this epic movie. It was getting bigger all the time, with more color and ever increasing faith.

Oh, how I envied what I saw. Years ago, I put aside my disappointment with my own family, for they left me a legacy spotted with so many ugly points. And family stories were never shared, much less heralded. We had no family heroes, with the exception of my mother's parents. At my own wedding last year, we read letters to our parents, but it wasn't my idea. It was the bride's. How I thank God for the legacy I'm joining on her side of the family, and for the opportunity to start one here and now. The funny thing about my own wedding was that our parents surprised us with letters they had secretly written for us. Those letters to my wife and I were read aloud during our ceremony. For my wife, her parents words were encouragement and praise. The words of my parents were also praise, but laced with apologies and regret.

I purchased Loritts' book Never Walk Away at the last Promise Keepers conference I attended. It gave me such hope. Loritts speaks about the traditions and integrity he witnessed in his very human, hard working father. The summary on Amazon.com says:

"Crawford Lorrits suggests that even if you did not grow up with a strong model of godly manhood in your family, there is nothing preventing you from becoming the first in a long line of godly men. You can be the one who will turn the tide for generations."
For me, that is one of my most important, irrational hopes.

My mother just called me at work. Reminded me to save money and to come home and see my father. Ah, my two favorite arguments. I called her back from the conference room. I was furious. She has no self-control; her worries consume her and erupt and I get covered in the sudden lava flow from her lack of faith. When I tell her that I can't come see my father yet, because I am still working through my anger with him, she says "What kind of religion do you have? That is not real. How do you think I've forgiven him?" And I say "You haven't, you haven't done things correctly. I am only human. If I go see him, it will be fake. I won't do that."

"You need a lot of prayer." Her perscription is the usual. Pray more.

She asks about money. "How are you going to save for your children?" Boy do I have news for her. We aren't going to have children, I tell her. Understatement: Yet another hurdle to my dream of starting a legacy that can extend for two generations.
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