May 4, 2021
“Then he blessed Joseph and said, ‘May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all of my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm—may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth’” (Genesis 48:15-16, NIV).
We called him D-Daddy. My father’s father, he was not a doctor but suffered through the Great Depression and supported his family as a Pinkerton stenographer and a bank employee once jobs were available. He was not a doctor, but he made my father a doctor, who made me a doctor and made my brother a doctor.
Cleaning out the attic yesterday, my wife found a letter that D-Daddy wrote to me at the time I graduated from medical school. Some of the words he typed are as follows:
“As you now turn to face stern realities not heretofore experienced in a world that is MOST LOVELY at times—somewhat cruel at times—we have a sincere belief that your every action will continue to be to so conduct yourself that only honor, love, pride and admiration will come to those who love you most. Each day we realize that there are not too many decades left for us to live and enjoy life; so, it will be our continual prayer that our progeny—all loved ones we will leave behind—will ALWAYS reflect honor and glory on the Master’s name, and on those who have lived and loved and laughed with them.”
What a blessing.
- An understanding of the world as it is, sometimes “most lovely” and sometimes cruel.
- A sincere commitment to my future.
- A wonderful sense of community in family.
- The absence of any notion that I should seek personal gain, but that “honor, love, pride and admiration will come to those who love me most.”
- An understanding of life’s brevity on this side of glory.
- The incredible importance of my legacy for those who follow.
- The incredible blessing to me of those who have gone before.
- The point of my life: to consistently bring glory and honor to our Master.
Have I lived my life worthy of this blessing?
Is this the blessing I wish for those who follow me?
Do I live my life so that such a blessing may find them?
Thank you for the blessing. Thank you for the one who blessed me. Let me live so that these words may describe my living and be passed on to those who follow me.