My maternal grandfather, long gone from this earth, left home at the age of 12 after a confrontation with his strict father, who thought him too young to speak at the table but not too young to do the work of a man. He then travelled across this country doing whatever work was given. He fell in love with my grandmother and sired his own large brood of children, providing for them even during the Great Depression. He died too soon for me to know him well, but I do know that I never heard my mother speak ill of him or my grandmother, only words of honor, love and respect. He made my mother happy to claim her Irish and Scottish ancestry. So the eve of Saint Patrick's Day brings my grandfather to mind. I can't hardly imagine a boy of 12 on his own, but apparently he could and did. I believe that fathers give their children an image of God. It makes me weep for the boy who couldn't speak at the table; but it also makes me proud of the quiet man who loved his wife, raised his children and worked to provide for them all.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
"Long Time Traveler" - The Wailin' Jennys