Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"I Can Take You"

I said this to my father when I was 17 years old and full of myself. Grandpa was visiting so my father asked for his help. We went out to the front lawn to settle the score. My father had put on some pounds and looked slow. Little did I know that size has nothing to do with ability, and in my father's case, agility.

"Begin counting when I say 'go'," my father said to his father. We stood facing each other. My father placed his left hand on my right shoulder and his right hand on his right leg above the knee. I did the same. My father told me this is how wrestlers sometimes started their matches. My father was a wrestler in grade school and his father had taught him creative ways to take down aggressors without much hoopla. I was in good company or so I thought. How hard could it be to take down my father?

"Go!" my father shouted.

Blue sky.


Gentle breeze on my face.

Grass next to my ears.

My father's knees on my chest.

Difficulty breathing.

"Two, three, four..." Grandpa droned.

Beyond that, I do not recall much.

This is a fond memory, believe it or not. It makes me laugh to think of my hubris in thinking a scrawny 17 year old could take down a seasoned veteran. My father knocked that hubris right out of me that day and I am eternally grateful for his love and care. He taught me to meet hubris with love and to do it with finesse, something his father undoubtly taught him. And so it continues with my sons. A lot of men settle things with fists and worse. My father was meek - a man with great power, that he used when needed, in the right amount, to bring about a just and merciful result.

This post marks the end of posts dedicated to my father. Future posts will return to the original topic of servants in the field.