Every Sunday morning we get up and get ready to go to our Celebration Service. Yes, that's what we call our Sunday church service. A Celebration Service. It's not another boring service with an old crochety minister reading verbatim out of his King James version of the bible.
Nope, we have a mid-thirties rather goofy kind of guy who includes relevant video clips in his messages, pulls names out of our offering bag for a Neil Diamond concert and who, next week, when our Sunday Celebration Service is at a dairy farm, will judge a pie eating contest. (...or maybe he'll be a contestant?). So truly, this Sunday service is in every way, a Celebration. It's not all fun and games, our services get down to the heart of the matter. (Sorry to be so cliche but it's the truth.) Yesterday, we were touched by a video about the love of a father. And, as we watched this clip (I know there wasn't a dry eye in the house), I found it hard to believe that our Father in Heaven loves us more than this father loves his son.
For those of you who don't know the story of Dick & Rick Hoyt, they are a father-son team. Their relationship is anything but ordinary and together, they have accomplished the extraordinary. Born with no ability to walk, talk, or communicate (or so most Doctors thought) Rick's parents were told to simply institutionalize their son. That he would never enjoy quality of life. Dick couldn't imagine simply disregarding his son, pretending he never "happened". He knew his son was "in there". There was a beating heart, a soul, a passion for life. Somewhere in the darkness of Rick's eyes, Dick saw hope.
There was a spark. And, like an old, damp match, he kept striking and striking until the flame was lit and the fire burned strong. And now we see - together, they have conquered the unimaginable. Marathons, Triathalons, a University Degree...many of these feats not Dick's ideas but rather his son's. Can you imagine what would have happened if Dick had never given his son this chance at life? If he had simply and apathetically, (though I'm sure it would have been painful) signed his son over to an institution. How much easier would it have been to let him sit there between four white walls, watching cartoons day after day...