This week, we’ll be jumping headfirst into a new series. Four different writers will all answer One BIG Question. We’d love for to you to even dive in and share your own thoughts on your blog. This week’s question is:
If your home caught on fire, what three objects (not people or pets!) would you put yourself in harm’s way to save?
1 / My Dad’s Guitar
A / That is not my Dad in the photo. It’s John Lennon.
B / My Dad really, really wishes it was my Dad in the photo.
You see, my old man was a Beatles nut. I’d wake up every other weekend to hearing him thump out Paul McCartney’s bass lines. I know all of them by heart now, whether I want to or not. While I thought I hated hearing all of it at the time, I deeply appreciate now having so much of that music stored up in my soul. It’s become a part of me.
When my Dad left this good Earth several years back, his Gibson J-160E acoustic guitar was left to me. It was the same model Gibson handed the Beatles when they arrived in the States in 1964. Play Beatles Rock Band, you’ll see my guitar. Pretty cool, right? Besides the fact that it plays beautifully and looks gorgeous, this guitar holds more sentimental weight than anything else I own. It’s a part of my Father I’m still holding on to. Very literally. All the time.
I love the cracks. The scratches. The blemishes. I love that I get to lead worship with this instrument. The one that humbles me. That reminds me of heartbreak. That pushes me to hope.
For reasons I can’t even put to words, as much as I’ve tried, first and foremost, I’m grabbing this guitar. No doubt about it.
2 / The Story of Us
It took me a minute to think of this one. I knew the third item. It came quickly and naturally. But this one took some wandering around the house to figure out. I passed our little camera that has taken so many perfect photos and videos of life with our son. I passed my wife’s larger camera which has led to a side passion and pursuit for her away from home and work. I passed the laptop which holds so many of our photos as a young family. But then I passed this.
For Christmas in 2007, while we were still living in Hazard, Kentucky, I bought my wife a big leather bound photo album. In it, I put together a chronological collection of our photos as a couple. I wanted it to be The Story of Us. I wanted Amy and I to be able to occasionally sit and reminisce about the times of old as we lived in the days of new. I wanted our children to be able to thumb through it one day and see their parents in all their youthful glory.
Whenever we look at these photos, we’re humbled by the goodness of God, by the faithfulness of each other, by the joy felt by sharing a great, deep friendship. And we’re humbled by love. For each other’s love.
3 / Words of Affirmation
I’ve been planning a much longer, much more deserving post on this exact item for a couple months now. This third item is, without a doubt, the greatest gift my wife has ever given me. It’s as if she spoke all of my love languages in one singular item. She nailed it. The words on the front read, “for Bobby”. I’m not sure a sentence has ever been truer. This was just for me. In every way.
For Christmas this past season, we both committed to making each other gifts instead of buying them. I honestly thought I was going to win this contest. I didn’t even think it was going to be close. What? It’s not a contest? Whatever. You see, I’d painted her a painting in honor of our 5-year anniversary trip to Ireland and made a 20-minute home-made video about our first year with Abe. What could top that?
How about a book filled with 23 letters from 23 different men written straight to me? Arrows aimed right for my heart and soul. Men pouring into me with everything they could muster. Iron sharpening iron with sparks and strength flying everywhere. My best friends breathing life and passion. My father-in-law sharing his blessing and gratitude. My step-father putting down words on our 20 years together as father and son that I’d be longing to hear for years.
Once a day, for 23 days, I’d sit alone and read a letter written straight to me. Men, from all walks of life, walking right up to me. Putting their arms around me. And telling me how much they cared about me. Every man yearns for approval. For solidarity. For strength.
My wife knew that. Because she knew me. And that is why this was the greatest gift she’s ever given me.
So…what’s your three items? Write it down. Commit it to heart. It’s a great exercise to help you see what you really value most.
Tomorrow, you’ll hear from someone else right here. See you then.