Saturday, April 17, 2010


My father was born one-hundred years ago today. April 17th doesn’t go by without my thinking about him, so even though he is not here in the flesh, today is no different except to think of the date in terms of the century’s marking it as a milestone.
Although I wonder what he would look like and be like as a senior citizen, Daddy will never grow old in my eyes, because he died without warning from a massive heart attack just before turning fifty-seven.
Being twenty-seven at the time, in my shock, I recall riding in the back seat of a car through the city where my parents lived, seeing a much older man on a sidewalk, and angrily thinking, “Why is he still alive and Daddy dead?” As though someone had shone a bright light in a dark room, that was a turning point in my grief, because the thoughts that tumbled swiftly behind said, “But Daddy doesn’t have to deal with the sorrows of this world anymore.” I could envision the straightening of his slumped shoulders and the tears drying from his eyes because he, like the Apostle Paul, had carried the weight of the church in his heart over the years since his becoming a Christian.
As time softened the blows of Daddy’s departure, I knew I had more reasons to look with thankfulness over the few years I had had with him. Daddy was a man of few words but when he spoke, as with the financier, people listened. I do not recall Daddy ever telling me he loved me but he showed me by laying down his life for me in ways I wish today I had noticed instead of, as a child/youth, taking for granted. During my pre-teen/teen years, he worked as a machinist where his work required that he stand all day. Frequently he rode a bus fifteen miles to work, often walking through severe Maine winter weather great distances in the early morning hours, in order to make the bus connections to be at work on time; the return trip was better because the bus route came closer to our house by that time of day. Between the metallic dust and the public smokers haze acceptable during those years, he suffered chronic sinusitis. At the end of many of those days, he’d look at my mom and say, “I’m not new anymore,” referring back to a childhood comment I’d made on one of his birthdays. I don’t know how old I was, but I had said, “Daddy’s old,” to which Mamma had replied, “Daddy’s not old!” My response had been, “Well, he’s not new, is he?”
During his years at that machine shop, he used his lunch hours to hold Bible studies with the men who wished to partake, and as a result, Daddy became more determined to go into ministry fulltime, which is what he was doing when he died so suddenly. As a result we found notes he’d made for his next Sunday morning’s lesson, so we knew what he had been thinking minutes before he died. We have many of his handwritten Bible Study/sermon notes. More reasons to be thankful.
Daddy was there to pose beside me with a smile while I wore my high school graduation gown and cap and to greet me with pride following an award surprise. I married at nineteen: Daddy was there to give me away and pray at the wedding. We have three children; Daddy met, loved, and played with each one, although our youngest turned three about the time of Daddy’s death. I saw his eyes shine in admiration at my mothering abilities. The last Thanksgiving he lived, our family, including my brothers and their wives and kids, gathered at our house and he and I shared a private smile over some dates I was filling with walnuts. He said, “You’re going to save some for me, aren’t you?” (Meaning leave some with no walnuts because they caused canker sores in his mouth.) Through the years when I have missed Daddy, I have thought about that last Thanksgiving and while I hated that he had to leave us so soon, I have been thankful he is with God, freed from the cares of the world, that would have included seeing how old age infirmities affected my mother, and I have always been thankful that although I never told him enough, he knew that I loved him.

Many happy returns on this day of your birth;

May sunshine and gladness be given;

God in His goodness prepared you on Earth

For a beautiful birthday in Heaven.


Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (NASB)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-17-2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010


In a conversation with a friend, she brought forth the fact that she realizes she cannot fix everything, that she has to turn it over to God in prayer, and leave it in His capable care and caring.
Because I, too, am a “fixer” personality, in my mind I kept returning to that conversation and this morning as I woke with it on my mind, I thought back to my childhood. I grew up in central Maine where as a young child I really loved riding my tricycle. One spring day when I sat on its seat, ready to ride our long semi-circular driveway, my knees bumped the handlebars. That was not going to work. I hopped off, ran into the house, told Mamma the problem, and before I knew it, Daddy arrived with some tools in hand, loosened a special bolt and nut, raised the handlebars, tightened the nut and bolt, and I was off on my very merry way with no more bumping knees! What joy I had that day and I was set for the rest of that spring, summer, and well into the fall when the tricycle went back into storage for another season.
You have probably guessed that by the following spring when my tricycle came out from its winter’s wraps, once again my knees hit the handlebars. This time I had no worries though, because I knew my daddy could fix the problem. I was confident when I told Mamma of the problem, only to learn that sometimes problems cannot be so easily fixed. Mamma explained that, yes, last year, Daddy had been able to raise a portion of the front of the tricycle so the handlebars were lifted but what he had done was as much as he could do; there was no extra height left. At that moment, even as a child trying to imagine wild scenarios, I understood that sometimes the answer, for that thing in particular, has to be, “No.”
With that response came disappointment; however, I knew the love of my parents was as great as it had been previously and I was aware they saw my banished hopes. I doubt such a thing as a larger tricycle was available but if so, money wasn’t, so they couldn’t automatically say, “We’ll get you a bigger tricycle.” What I do remember is a used scooter appeared as a riding replacement for my tricycle and it was to be shared with my brother who was three-and-a-half years older than I.
When we are children, we need someone to turn to for help with troubles too big for our minds and bodies to handle. And maybe it’s because we have had capable human examples before us that we have become adults who feel we should be able to take care of it all including fixing everything that comes down the pike, until, like with the tricycle, there comes something that just can’t be fixed by human hands, and then what? Where do we turn, unless we have made a practice of knowing from where our real help comes? Let’s not wait for tricycle troubles to arise before we practice calling on the help at hand, using every resource available, and, here is a point not to be missed, teaching our children to do so as well.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (I Peter 6:7 NLT)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-4-2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Because the thoughts of many are turned to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus during this season of the year, FaithWriters blog challenged the members to write a 100-word essay from the perspective of a Bible character mentioned in the Easter Story. I liked the challenge; however, even though I felt I fell short of the challenge in more than just the 100-word limit, I entered a portion of this and I would like to share the following with you based on John 18:3ff and Mark15:39:

Being a centurion opened my eyes to many things, but never so much so as what occurred during the past few days.
Because I command many, I was dispatched to Gethsemane one night and once Judas had given the betrayal kiss to the One we were to arrest, that very man stepped forth and asked, “Whom do you seek?” When answered, He said, “I am He.” Many of our number drew back and fell to the ground. However, we arrested, bound, and took Him in where He was tried, convicted, and hanged.
Later standing by the foot of His cross, having witnessed His complete demeanor, how could I help but know and say, “Truly, this man was the Son of God!”?

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-3-2010