“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The first verse from the eleventh chapter of Hebrews was delicately stitched and framed on the wall behind the door. It caught my eye and gave me pause as I considered the double meaning. Yes, Faith definitely lived up to her name.
My 86-year-old father-in-law, Peter, had prompted this trip. We were spending three weeks with him in Maine, so why not drive to Cape Cod for a few days to see his older sister, Faith? The unspoken understanding that this visit could be their last laid heavy on our hearts.
The night before we left, we sat outside enjoying the evening breeze. The others had ventured off, leaving Peter and I alone. We sat in comfortable silence until he offered a tender glimpse into his thoughts. “Outside of my wife and kids,” his voice barely audible over the evening insect symphony, “my sister is my best friend. I’m excited to go see her.”
This seemed a rare moment of emotional transparency for a strong man who had always preferred to be the jokester, the class clown, the life of the party.
“This seemed a rare moment of emotional transparency for a strong man who had always preferred to be the jokester, the class clown, the life of the party.
“You’re welcome,” I replied, mostly because those were the only words that formed in the weight of the moment. If he noticed my emotion, I’ll never know. For he simply returned to reading the open Bible in his lap. Our visit to Maine was filled with times like this—long periods of quiet introspection, beside an octogenarian who has been a significant force in my life for more than thirty years, with staccato spurts of outward expression.