The picture painted in my head is of a man with worn shoes, possibly a bent back, an Everyman, a Job who has been brought to his knees, yet still he gets up and walks. Walking humbly, in my mind’s eye, doesn’t have to be a pretty picture. In fact, it rarely is. No one is crossing a finish line, arms raised in triumph in this image, with big smiles and clapping hands all around.
The man is not trying to be a hero, nor does he even fit the picture of poise or elegance. For me, this is a sometimes weary man, with bumps on his shoulders, bruises on his heart, dirt on his hands, scars on his soul and sores on his feet. It is a man from humble beginnings who has struggled, been knocked down more than once, has even known what it is to crawl. It is a man who carries others on his back when they are in danger of giving up. This to me is the picture of grace and dignity if ever there was one, because the man stays in the struggle and keeps on trying. And each time, every time, he pulls himself up to take one more agonizing step.
That was my dad, this man, one foot in front of the other, moving forward with his faith, because there was never even the possibility of another option for him.