Walk in the Light: Walk in Love - Reflections

June 13, 2018 | Didi Bacon

Writer David Briggs offers a moving meditation on what he learned from his father's example of walking in the Light. David's father was an ordinary man who lived an ordinary life, working at a screen printing company in New Haven, Connecticut, but David was permanently shaped by his father's example of humble faith and faithfulness. Living in the light. Living in love.

This is what David writes about his dad:

“Before I was old enough to go to school, he often took me into work with him on Saturdays. I watched him sweep the floor before he began, and soon I had that job. He was hired to sweep floors, and even after he became president of the company or worked [on projects for famous clients], it was important to him not to lose sight of the dignity of all work.

Faith was just part of life. Some of the best memories I had from childhood were [attending mid-week or Sunday worship services], or the adventure of walking together down a long hill with snow up to my chest during a heavy storm to be greeted by a surprised pastor on Sunday morning. He would not miss Sunday worship.

And where there might have been self-pity, there was joy in his life … And still, there was something more. I did not pick up on it at first, but as the years went by I noticed my father would not speak a bad word about others. At the dinner table, he talked about customers who defrauded him by asking for large amounts of work in advance and skipping out on payments. But there was never talk of revenge or fighting back. He just said he would no longer deal with them.

For almost my entire time growing up, a lot of it during the 1960s when racial tensions boiled over in cities like New Haven, he delivered food once a month to the poor in the city, telling me when I came along to stay in the car while he walked up to the top floor of apartment complexes to make sure families received their groceries.

In a letter to my father [as he lay dying], I spoke of our walk to church during the snowstorm. But I told him the lesson he taught me about faith "came from seeing you live your life. You genuinely loved everyone."

My father was born into poverty, lived a humble life, and died in bleak, spare surroundings reserved for veterans with limited resources. His was a Christmas and Easter story combined, testifying that true happiness lies within us.

So what do I want to do with the rest of my life? I want to be like my father.

David wanted to be like his father who lived like Jesus who lived like His Father God. Live in the light. Live in love.

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