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Generally speaking, my father was not what I would call a brave man.

My father suffered from several phobias. He was afraid of heights, which dictated that after I turned 12, everything to be done on a ladder would be handled by me with him nervously looking on.

I’ll never forget when "we" painted the house when I was 17. "We" sure spent a lot of time by myself. Oh, and my favorite part was when it was time to paint an area of the house unreachable by the ladder, and my father tied a piece of clothesline around me (to - HA! - catch me, just in case) as I went out on the roof. It was only better when, after I finished, I came in the window to find my father had left the room and TIED THE CLOTHESLINE TO A DOORKNOB.

I’m sure that the clothesline was strong enough to catch me from falling two stories, and that doorknob would’ve held. Yep.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. My father was also afraid of bees and hornets. Actually, with good reason, since he was allergic to bees. The hornets? Well, hornets are just mean, you know? Still, it is something to see a grown man run into his home, and LOCK THE DOORS (because, you know, the bees - they can work the doorknobs), abandoning his family (’cuz the doors are locked, you know) to deal with the angry insects on the outside.

And, there was also the claustrophobia. Closed in spaces drove my father into near fits of madness. One time, my father went through a huge mall in less than 15 minutes on the day after Thanksgiving, just plowing through until he got out the other side. But, that was nothing compared to our trip to the Smithsonian and the National Zoo... in one day.

No, I never really considered my father to be brave... until sometime in the last couple of weeks.

I was thinking about some things, and I realized that my father, at the age of 47, after avoiding it for 30 years, surrendered to God’s call to the ministry. And, then, being unable to be ordained in his home church (as a divorced man that remarried), he had to seek out a different denomination, and, with no connections or support (other than God and his family), he entered the ministry.

Looking back on it... wow. That took guts. That was overcoming fear. That was stepping out in faith.

It was brave.

I can only hope that somewhere in me I have that. I need that.

I’ll type at you later.

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Comment by Spike on March 22, 2008 at 4:25pm
I'd have to disagree, because I really do believe in youth. I attended a Marine Corps graduation last year. Young men and women are still brave enough to commit themselves to a life of discipline and self-sacrifice.
Comment by UnchartedSpirit on March 21, 2008 at 11:46pm
No one my age or younger than me would do that for sure...I think maturity is a lost genetic trat in our generation : (
Comment by mike on March 21, 2008 at 10:16am
wow....what an awesome story.

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