Wisdom in Paradox: A tribute to my dad.
Seven years ago today, my dad, David Herschberger, passed away after a long fight with cancer.
He grew up an Amish farm boy in Illinois and served as a missionary in Northwestern Ontario for 49 years among the Indigenous people of the area. At his funeral, the lines were long and the tears plentiful. The local Chief gave me a tribal flag which I treasure to this day. Dad did not consider himself to be a successful person, so the way I would like to honor his memory is to reflect on the many paradoxical thoughts he lived. In this era of polarity, some of his wisdom might be helpful for us today.
You can listen thoroughly to hard things while suspending judgement.
You can work to expand the Kingdom of God without worrying about the numbers in your own denomination.
You can love your roots (rural Amish folk), while spreading your wings (becoming a pilot at 47 and traveling the world in his 70's).
Being a constant learner does not mean you are ignorant.
Believing in utter grace does not lead you to live a life of license to sin.
He knew that compassion was something you could give to both the victim and the abuser.
He knew that you could lift people up without putting other people down.
He knew you could invest all your energy locally, while knowing you were contributing to a global movement.
He knew you could love without picking sides.
You could embrace the pain of your past without seeking revenge on those who caused it.
He knew you could be flexible in thought and practice, while remaining fully committed to your core beliefs.
He knew the most important things are not things.
I love you, dad.