This week my father celebrated sixty years of life under the sun.
It is hard to summarize the impact my dad has had upon my life and those closest to him. He has touched us in so many ways, and has left his imprints upon such vast corridors of our hearts. My best attempt to detail his influence could only be marginal in scope, for the man that I call Dad is more complex than my impoverished words may shape him to be.
I can remember, as a child, my father reciting Romanian poems such as "The Queen of Ostrogots", "Night of May", and "El Zorab". These sessions of recital unleashed in me a flood of desire for the
nobility of words and their power to elevate the threshold of beauty in
the human heart. Listening to his voice, I could feel the anguish of a dispossessed queen, the sorrow of a widowed wife, the flutter of a lover's heart, the weight of age upon one's mind... My father's voice, at times soft with whisper, at times thunderous with feeling, gave breath to history's most tumultuous figures, worlds away in character and struggles. We, the hearers, were changed-at least for the moment-and aroused to seek elegance of thought and feeling in our otherwise mundane existence.
Later in my teens, as my father had a life-changing encounter with God, he once again became a primary agent in shaping my destiny. Late at night, as we were all in bed, I would hear my father agonizing for hours in prayer for the eternal salvation of souls. He prayed for his loved ones by name, every night. He poured out his soul like water for God's revival upon his village, a place he still speaks of often with tears of compassion. God answered, and our faith grew. I became hooked to the God of my father, the God who became my Lord and my Friend, to whom I owe my breath and my devotion.
As an adult and with a family of my own, I continue to look to my father for help. Talking to him, even about the mundane events of everyday life, is soothing. Sometimes words aren't necessary-being around him is enough to calm my storms and encourage my spirit. God has been most generous to give me a father who loves Him and intercedes daily for his daughters and the world far beyond his loved ones. My father is living a life of excellence as He serves his God wholeheartedly, loves his family impartially and seeks the eternal and physical well-being of those around him. My desire is to emulate his passion for God and love for the souls of men as he lives a life of purpose of fruitfulness.
Happy birthday Dad-and thank you.