In March, 2003 just two weeks before their 50th wedding anniversary, my Dad suffered a stroke. This was the deciding factor that led my parents to move from their home of 48 years to a ground-level apartment. We had planned a 50th anniversary celebration for them June 1 when all of their children could be there for this great occasion. By that time, my Dad could stand and take a few steps with assistance. It was a privilege to honor them for their faithfulness to each other for all these years.
The next day we began moving them into their new home. As John and my youngest brother were cleaning the basement, they found two of Dad’s old beat up lunch pails. As they each decided to keep one, John commented to my brother, David, “In helping to pack your parent’s household goods, I found nothing that your dad ever bought for himself. All his finances were poured into his family. These old, worn-out lunch pails bear testimony to his selflessness over the last 50 years.”
Paul wrote to Timothy, “If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity…moreover he must have a good report of them which are without.”
If this is true of any man, it is true of my Dad. He used those lunch pails for over 30 years as he worked faithfully every day at a dairy to support his family of five children. He never finished high school, but he had godly wisdom. He never had his “name in lights,” but he is held in high esteem by his family, fellow church members and neighbors. His love for God was and is still evident in all he does. He served as a deacon at his church for many years. In the latter years, he and my Mom have served as servants to their pastor, cleaning up after construction workers when their new church was built and then cleaning the new facilities every week when it was finished. His pastor told us that my Dad was grieved that he could no longer clean the church.
So, what is the value of a lunch pail? It is priceless. It represents love for family and friends, faithfulness, integrity, respect, honor, character, responsibility, humbleness, servant hood and most of all, a deep love for God and His Word.
Thanks Dad, for showing us Jesus.