Holy in the Daily

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How a disappointment can lead to a win

Yes, a disappointment can lead to a win.

We’d just turned off the main road past a small cottage and headed up a long hill when my dad dropped the bombshell on me.

“Susie,” he said. “I know you’ve wanted to be an exchange student for a long time, but you need to know that they aren’t going to pick you tonight.”

He answered my confused look with the explanation that the man whose home we were driving to had just lost a court battle with the widowed woman who lived in the cottage we had passed.

That man was one of the main board members of the foreign exchange program to which I was applying.

Dad had been the attorney representing the woman.

She had come to Dad needing help fighting a lawsuit the board member had filed against her to get her property. He wanted to own the hillside, which was a lot of property.

This elderly woman was the only property owner unwilling to sell. That cottage was her home and her place of memories.

Dad often took on widows as pro-bono cases. His own father had died three months before he was born so Dad’s mother had raised him… all though the depression.

Dad had a soft spot for widows. The board member did not. And that board member was really mad at dad.

We parked our car among those of other students and their families who were meeting for dinner and interviews with the board members.

The evening was actually fun once I knew my disappointment had a reason. My anxiety about the interview disappeared. I felt proud of my dad and proud to be his daughter. And I didn’t become a foreign exchange student.

I learned three important family values out of that disappointment:

  • We take care of widows.
  • We are people who fight injustice for those who can’t fight for themselves.
  • We serve those who need our skills and can’t afford to pay for them.

Dad put flesh and bone to James 1:27 for me, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

And he did it through a story that fitted my situation.

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