Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Begin My Life Blessed

I'm on the far right.

It was just after the Great Depression.
The 'war to end all wars' had been fought.
A girl, Frana, had been born to a family in a poverty-stricken section of the east coast.
No indoor plumbing.
No telephone, no jobs, and not much food.
She was named after her paternal grandmother, who had been named after a ship. Her father had come from a long line of sea captains, but he had not continued the tradition.
He was a frustrated musician/farmer who had really wanted to be a fireman. His strictly religious mother had other plans. None of them had worked out.
His wife was a mild, self-educated woman, who had only formally finished the eighth grade. They worked at a hotel in the lowest of positions until finally they were able to build a house on some land in the country.Four more children came along, stretching the meager budget.
Neither of these parents had any religious leanings to speak of, and the girl had never been told about God.
One day, a neighbor took her to church, and she became, to borrow the term of the older saints, 'gloriously saved'.
For the next seven decades she would mature in that faith to become a seasoned, godly woman, my mother.

Meanwhile, another little girl would grow up in a sod house on the Iowa prairie, losing her mother at only three years old, and marry a crooning bartender. They give birth to a son named Weston.
The son joined the Army by the time the second world war came along, as did nearly every able bodied young man, and spent his nineteenth birthday in a foxhole in Germany. Upon his return, he found his family converted to Christianity, and soon after gave his life to Christ, (and I quote) "on a dead end street in Pasadena". This was my father, a gentlemanly preacher who by the end of his life had spoken so often of heaven that we knew he was ready to go.

These two were to meet, both passionate about Christian evangelism, in the heyday of Billy Graham, fueled by the likes of Jim Elliot, and gave birth to me in the very same year as Michael Jackson and Madonna. But in the turbulent sixties, I was raised in a quiet, modest pastor's home that was virtually soaked in scripture.

The parents I grew up with were not perfect Christians, but they provided a foundation for my faith that would not have been possible to imagine given the homes they were born into.

I began my life, blessed in many ways.

As I promised in my last post, I will be counting my blessings in upcoming posts. I plan to devote the next thirty days to this and invite you to join me in counting our blessings!

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