by Dick Buckingham
This past weekend we celebrated Father’s day, and since I am the only one of our blog contributors who is a father, it seems like I should be uniquely qualified to post something about fathers. Almost every post on Facebook on Sunday had something to do with fathers, those who had great ones, those who had lost fathers and were missing them, those who were fatherless and left with a void they really didn’t understand. It seems in God’s providence, He has made fathers pretty important to our lives. Please allow me some latitude to make one more reflection on fathers.
|This is my dad at the gravestones of our grandfathers.|
But the greatest thrill for both my dad and me was to discover for the first time the grave marker of my great-great-great grandfather in the old cemetery across the street that was one of the earliest in the area. This gentleman, Ezekiel, was the first of my clan to settle in this area of Ohio in 1842. This was during the days of the pioneers in our country, about 20 years before the Civil War and before the town of Willard even existed. Further research at the library netted us the exact location of the original Buckingham farm that Ezekiel cleared of trees in order to grow crops for his family. Needless to say, we were both elated at what we found out about our family roots and history. In some small way, we felt part of a family that at some point played a significant role in the area. Though most of these men we never knew, we envisioned them to be hard working, successful farmers, living at a time when things were much harder, yet simpler. These fathers were important to us.
Some things I can assume about them:
|Ezekial Buckingham’s grave marker|
Biblical names like Ezekiel and gave their children Biblical names that they were steeped in the Faith tradition. Regardless of their imperfections as fathers or men, if they believed and trusted Christ, they were forgiven for their sins. It is a faith that I have today and have passed on to my children. It is a forgiveness that is available for you and your children. To be certain I am clear, it is not family heritage that forgives, but the blood of Christ shed for you or me embraced by faith that saves. Remember what is says in Exodus 20:6, “..but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Is this the heritage of your family?
Going back to family roots is fun, but is better when we can learn either from their experiences or from the contemplation of their lives. I have benefited from my looking back. What have you learned from yours?