Our weekly lunch talks

Pop was more than just my father. He was my Dad, my mentor, and friend. Pop got me. He took time to really get to know me. When I entered the working world in the 1990s, Pop and I began meeting for lunch regularly. I moved away for sometime, but when I moved back in 2004, Wednesday soon became Pop's and my day. We met for lunch almost every week. Most of the time, we went to Panera Bread. Pop would never let me pay even when I tried to because I was still his "boy", but he showed me the respect of a man. When he was too ill to go out, we still met at the hospital or his house. These were special times for both of us. We talked about all sorts of things dear to our hearts or at the forefront of our minds. Pop took the time to really get to know me.

Pop gave me the benefit of the doubt. He didn't come with an agenda or preconceived notions. He just took me as I am. We shared one another's hearts. He was a kindred spirit. He understood and respected me - my meandering thoughts out loud, analysis, simplicity and complexity, quietness, boundaries, and space. Rarely did we disagree, but if we did, it was handled with grace. Pop made it easy to have true relationship. Our time was not just quantity, but quality - something he and I both desired and valued. We shared a common faith and theology. We shared a common heart and we would reinforce and encourage this in one another during our lunches. Knowing Jesus as Lord and relying on Christ alone was at the forefront of his heart. Dad would say, "Be there" in reference to Heaven. He was more than a father. Losing Dad is a profound loss. I have also lost a mentor and friend. I have lost one of the most treasured human beings who really got me. It was a blessing to know him and to be known by him. I miss him, but I know I will see him again. We share "in Christ alone" in common. I know I will see him at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. When we shared that, he responded likewise with a smile and "Yeah boy!"

Some of our favorite meeting places are below, but he awaits me in the best meeting place of all:

Dad's license plate: I'd look for this on
his gray van in the parking lot
and know he was there.

What we talked about: Theology, politics, apologetics, expectations and boundaries (and he got me! We understood one another and got one another! What a blessing he was!), going against the flow of the world, words to live by, truth, sacrificial love, the Bible, books, Family, and all sorts of matters of the heart. He was one of my kindred spirits.

A video of part of our conversation on Wednesday, May 5, 2010:

Download - Be There - a video (4.2 MB - FLV version)

High-Quality Download - Be There - a video (121 MB - Quicktime)

One of the last deeper conversations we had was in regards to the book What Does the Holy Spirit Do in Our Lives? by RBC Ministries. The book mentions about Jesus sending another comforter. It mentions two Greek words used:

  • allos - αλλος - "another of the same kind," used in "one another."
  • heteros - ετερος - "different from."

The author mentions how allos is used in John 14:16-17 and heteros is used in Acts 13:35 and Acts 17:7. The author writes "To describe the Holy Spirit, our Lord used the word allos… He was making a bold promise that the Comforter He would send would be a perfect Substitue. In His co-equal, co-eternal nature, the Holy Spirit would be another just like Jesus Himself" (p. 23).

The author then mentions Comforter - parakaleo - παρακαλεο - "used to describe a legal assistant, advocate, or one who pleads another's cause" (p. 24). The Holy Spirit is "our Paraclete and Advocate with the Father - like Jesus, our Great High Priest and Mediator" (p. 24). What Dad and I found as a wonderful nugget was (is) this quote in the book from A.T. Robertson, Greek Scholar & New Testament Commentator: "So the Christian has Christ as his Paraclete with the Father, the Holy Spirit as the Father's Praclete with us (Jn. 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; 1 Jn. 2:1)" (p. 24).

The author continues: "Christ defends us before the Father to keep us secure… based on His perfect and completed work. … The Holy Spirit as our Comforter works within us to declare to us the abiding presence of the Living God in our lives" (p. 25).

What wonderful and valuable and eternal lessons Pop and I shared with one another!