Words of Hope: Master Teacher

Dad was a maverick and exceptional teacher. He grasped ways to make concepts understandable way before the science of pedagogy confirmed his teaching methods. Cookie jar, a way to help campers understand the mechanics of a proper follow-through when shooting the basketball, was just one small example of how Dad dynamically taught. I believe one of his greatest teachings in my life was making the Bible, prayer, and a relationship with God something alive and real. 

I am reading Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather’s book One of Ours about World War 1. I love this book. In it, she talks about the frustration of an impractical Christianity more concerned with piety and judging the impropriety of others rather than real transformational living and loving. I imagine Dad and Willa are having a fantastic time in heaven. Dad hated the notion of faith as a tool for self-elevation and judgment of others. Just like he believed our teaching in shooting should lead to greater basketball success, he believed our teaching in theology and in the churches should lead to greater lives of inner transformation. He wanted his life to be one of joy, peace, kindness, compassion, a closer marriage, deeper love for humanity, and greater compassion for the world and for those in need. 

Dad’s practice of scripture memory was never a tool to sound godlier. For him, it was the very life and breath to help him be a truly loving dad and husband. I am grateful Dad never used church, the bible, bible study, or any external tools as weapons to shame me into a deeper relationship with God as I have witnessed in other “Christian” homes. I can’t thank Dad enough for seeing these as tools for the real work of a deep relationship with Christ which was sacred and holy and profoundly personal. Dad knew how to teach transformation living by modeling this every single day.

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

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