My dad slid the paper across the table…upside down. He left his hand on it so I couldn’t turn it over. There was something to be said before I was to see what it was. We’d just learned my father had cancer. As it turned out it didn’t claim his life for another decade, but that day, we didn’t know that.
My father grew up poor. He hustled jobs during the depression by hopping freight trains from town to town. He was one of the early benefactors of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). He later gave up a good job with Letourneau Construction to settle down and raise a son…me.
But we grew up poor. My dad worked hard…construction during the day (except for lunch when he worked the restaurant) and at night in the bar. But times were still tough in small town Idaho. However, he had managed to buy and pay for a small house. It was all he had.
The conversation was simple. He didn’t know how much the cancer would ultimately cost. He wasn’t sure about insurance coverage. He didn’t have savings that amounted to much. But he had one thing…a house…and he didn’t want to lose it to creditors if things turned out badly. So…
That paper was the deed to the house, signed over to me. I was now the owner and there was only one request, “Let your mother and me live here until we’re gone.” I was the heir…because I was the son. None of my father’s blood ran through my veins but that made no difference whatsoever. I was his son. He brought me home from the hospital at three days of age and nothing could change that.
Adopted. Son. Heir. Those were my words then and they are my words now. I connect deeply with the idea of being adopted into the family of God, made a son, given the rights of an heir. Nothing could be more meangingful.
For a printable version of this week’s devotional, see the attached file: Insert 06-19-2011