Family Memory – Dad Teaches Me About Faith
One of my main reasons for wanting to blog was so I could preserve precious family memories. Here’s my favorite memory about my Dad. He passed away in 2009 from cancer, so these moments hold extra special meaning for me.
I was around ten years old and annoyingly inquisitive. I constantly asked questions of everything going on around me.
It was probably summertime, because my dad and I were up late watching a movie, while my mom and sister were upstairs asleep. We were the night owls of the family. Dad used to love historical movies, as well as movies about biblical scenes. We were probably watching the latter.
Dad was sitting in his old easy chair with it all the way leaned back – one of his favorite spots in the house. He told me it was time for bed. As going to sleep was one of my least favorite things to do, I begrudgingly walked over to give him a hug and kiss good night.
When I stood next to him, I asked him a question–quite possibly in a ploy to stall my going upstairs to bed. I said, “Dad… how do you know there is a God…you know, that he exists?” I shifted akwardly and looked down at my hands. Dad looked at me earnestly for a moment. For a split second, I thought he might be mad at me. Then he said:
“You know how Moses led his people away from the Egyptians?” I nodded yes. He continued, “well, the Bible says he parted the Red Sea and that’s how he escaped.
“Now, some scientists and historians have studied the area and offered other explanations for Moses’ escape. Some of them believe the tide was low as Moses and his people crossed the Red Sea, and so when the Egyptians tried to cross, they didn’t make it because the tide came in and washed them away.
“Others believe that Moses and his people were traveling on foot, whereas the Egyptians chasing them were mostly on chariots – you know, they were traveling on wheels. Those people believe that Moses and his followers were able to walk or swim to the other side of the Red Sea, whereas the Egyptians’ wheels got stuck in the mud.”
My brow furrowed and I looked away for a second, trying to grasp what Dad was telling me. This was not what I was expecting at all. Normally Dad had some scientific explanation for why things were the way they were. Usually, he would answer my questions and everything would make sense again. But this didn’t make sense at all. Why would he tell me of other ways to believe? How does this prove there is a God? At my weekly Catholic school class, the instructors never gave other explanations or points of view for biblical events. Not only that, but both of Dad’s alternative explanations for Moses’ escape seemed perfectly reasonable to me. In my perplexity, I looked back at Dad and stammered, “Um… okay… so what… do you think happened…?”
Dad replied, “I believe the Bible. I choose to believe that Moses parted the Red Sea. And believing in God is the same way. I choose to believe in God. I choose to believe that He exists.”
I didn’t realize it at the time, but Dad taught me a valuable lesson of faith. I will always treasure this lesson.
I also value how he reasoned with me and didn’t talk down to me, even at my young age. And now, years later, I choose to believe that God exists, and Moses did indeed part the Red Sea.