My Father's Gift ....
I don't know where he got it. He wasn't educated. He wasn't well read... and he was limited.. He emigrated with his family from Russia to Canada as a 12 year-old boy, and was plunged into a school system he knew nothing about.
Being a middle child, there wasn't enough farmland to start a farm, the only noble career in a farming community, so as a last resort, he started his working life fixing bicycles... and eventually became a self-taught mechanic - fixing cars as they became more frequent in the community. Essentially he had an 24-hour on-call career with no pension, no security and crazy- demanding hours.
He didn't have any money. Especially in the beginning, he had very limited resources. Our lifestyle, though adequate, was never luxurious. Every penny was accounted for.
He didn't have a large network. His social life was confined mainly to his siblings and the extended family. None of them were noteworthy.
However, he did have his Bible knowledge, As I alluded to in the earlier blog, he was a self-taught Old Testament expert. I think what drove this interest was his love of Abraham, his name sake. His name was Abram, and I often heard him bemoan the fact that his name was Abram rather than Abraham. He identified totally with Abraham. And it was this identification that gave him his ability to make the old stories come alive. I remember how he would often site "Jacob" or "Joseph" or any one of the patriarchs as an example of how to deal with a presenting situation. But that wasn't it either. It wasn't his Bible knowledge or his Christian principled lifestyle.
And he was also highly innovative - and was known for this. When he didn't have access to a tool or couldn't afford it, he simply made it - welding it all together. With my grandfather, he built a tractor from a mishmash of left-over parts of the cars he fixed. If I remember correctly, it had car wheels on the front and truck wheels on the back. It was the strangest looking thing but it outlasted all the other tractors in the community. He also mastered electricity and wired the entire new church building... things like that.
But there was something else about him. The community called it wisdom. The leaders in the community would often stop by to talk to Dad -- whether their car needed fixing or not.
I think it even went beyond that. I think he had prophetic leanings. I wouldn't call him a prophet - and he would have been absolutely horrified at the thought. To him prophets were wild-men living int he dessert eating locusts. He was a man who believed in living life sensibly with two feet planted firmly on the ground. He was after all - first a businessman - and a good one.
But in today's definitions and understandings, I would probably say that he had prophetic gifting and leanings. Dad had an interest and the imagination to understand, and sometimes predict the future.
It showed itself in his interest in the end times. He would have loved all of the Apocalyptic movies that are so vogue at this time in history. He would have loved watching the current dramatic global politics. And sometimes as I watch the 10 o'clock news, I can still hear his voice in my ear as things are unfolding on the screen. And he was so right.... so frighteningly correct in his foresight.
But I didn't know that back then. I just thought all those late night discussions about eschatology with itinerant experts who were passing though our valley, and those scrolls of "pre-trib" and "post-trib" in the basement were a hobby and a past time -- that he himself said were nothing but speculation. He himself never really took a hard stand on any of it. He was just interested in the future... And as he said everyone should be. It's a way of growing ones faith -- just to watch. So I watch......
However - most amazing and what truly sticks in my mind were the numerous times, my father would just offhandedly say something to my mother (and remember I was his shadow and I heard a lot) about his concerns regarding certain people in the community - often ending in predictions that came true.
I remember one story particularly. One of my aunts was facing a harsh dilemma in life and he just said that he expected that she would move.... I don't want to write out this story- it isn't mine to tell - but the important note is that she did move. I had thought that his prediction at the time was outlandish. But it came into being two years later - just as he predicted.
He didn't even seem surprised - he just nodded and shrugged his shoulders. It didn't matter to him if he was right or wrong. But it mattered to me -- I witnessed it.
And it wasn't the only time I observed his words come true.
Now there is something very powerful when someone can read the present, the past and the future in a way that presents clear options of how to deal with things.
I followed him like a puppy dog because he was the first one to show me love, and then I continued to follow him because he seemed to be the only one who knew his way through this messy world.
He had foresight.
Even at the end of life - he bought an unlikely piece of property, and developed it. That one decision allowed him to live out his retirement in peace and ease.
If anyone, I think my father was ushered into his heavenly reward with the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
“Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy. The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don't know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.” ― C. JoyBell C.