My dad was a Pentecostal preacher. But he never preached to me. As a man of many words it was stunning when he would become silent. Right when I would expect a lecture he would say nothing at all. All the while, being there with me. Like the time I was arrested for street racing. He stood with me in court. And that brawl in the parking lot of the church late at night, asking me if I needed a band aid. The biggest disappointment had to be when I was kicked out of Bible College. He drove 14 hours to pick me up from school. I learned from him that I don’t need help paying for my sins. They do a fine job all by themselves.
My dad was pasionate about spiritual things. Now you would think that would produce some kind of condesension. But what I remember is that my dad laughed outloud a lot. He loved to play guitar, and he painted, usually awe inspiring mountainscapes. He loved church picnics and outdoor games more than services. I remember his jokes more than his sermons. He loved people and seldom used scripture quotes outside of the church.
When he passed away, everyone who spoke of him at his memorial service talked like they were his best friend. He had a lot of best friends. To this day I’m not sure how I became so absorbed with what the Bible says about who God is. But I think it’s mostly because I wanted to know who he knew.