Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Dad's Sermons

My father was a country preacher in a small community church in Juliaetta, Idaho. He preached there from the late Sixties through the early Nineties. After Dad's death, my brother took all of Dad's sermons with the intent of pulling them together, doing something with them.

I talked with my brother over Christmas, and he said he was sending me the sermons, could I figure out how to make them available to everyone else? I received a big box last week, and it's full of hundreds of handwritten sermons, sermons that kindle in me a new respect and love for my father and his faith.

Yesterday, I transcribed one of the sermons. I can almost hear my father preaching it, his folksy, earnest voice. Dad was not a great orator, but faith burned bright in his words, as well as his life. I am grateful to have these sermons, and I'm going to do my best to see that they are more widely available than in a box in my living room.

Reading his words makes me focus on my own spiritual life. I don't believe in God. I'm not a Christian. There are moments when I wish I had the capacity for belief, but I don't. On the other hand, I recognize the spark and life in my Dad's work. I know firsthand how he lived his faith. It's my prayer that I can follow in his footsteps and live a life full of concern, love, and respect for all who live here.