We had a name for my Dad; my five siblings and I called him “Big Bill”. This name is on his tombstone. As a young man, Bill Brack was tall, with large hands and feet. As a very young child, I watched those hands as he hugged my Mom and all of us every day, saying, “I love you with all of my heart.” Every night, after working up to 16 hours on the railroad, I watched those hands roll up his sleeves, and help my Mom get dinner on the table. I watched those hands hold the crying babies in the night, so my Mom could sleep. I watched those hands as he smacked our bottoms and then hugged us and said, “Be a good girl.” We never missed Mass; Dad would go every morning when he could. I watched those hands as he prayed with his head bowed, and as he became a man of prayer in his old age. Big Bill was a big man not because of his stature but because he loved God and my Mom and all of us, with all of his heart, and he served every one he knew.
These sound like small things, but as I have aged, I now know how rare they are. Did you know that one of the descriptions of God, used frequently in the Old Testament, was “the God of your Father?” The God of the universe even called Himself a Father in 2 Ch. 17:13, when He promised David that He would be a Father to Solomon and Solomon would be God’s son.
In the four gospels, Yeshua referred to His Father 190 times. Yeshua said in John 5:19, that He did only what He saw His Father doing. Yeshua also said in John 10:30, “… that I and the Father are one.” Do you see the pattern? My Father loved and served God. I grew up loving the God of my Father.
There are two men in the Bible, who at the end of their lives, were especially blessed by God. In The Chumash, in Numbers 20, the story of the death of Aaron at 123 years old is told. It reads, “Aaron died and was succeeded by his son Elazar.” But before Aaron died, he had the blessing of clothing Eleazar in his own vestments as the High Priest. The other father in the Bible, especially blessed by God, was David who saw his son Solomon build the House for God, the Temple, and sit on the throne of David. Thus we see how Godly fathers are succeeded by Godly sons and daughters.
My father was also blessed in seeing his son, Robert Brack, sworn in as a Federal district judge, after Robert stood before the Senate Confirmation Committee in Washington, DC, and answered that his judicial philosophy was from Micah 6:8, “The Lord has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"
My Dad died at 80 years old. The last that I saw of him, as they closed the casket, were those large hands and the next time that I see him, I will see those precious large hands reaching out for me.
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