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By Helen Luhrs
When my mom died this winter, I realized the generation of my parents was gone. What I learned from them about faith and life was now mine to practice and pass on. To help me remember what I learned and treasure what nuggets of truth I want to share, these Summer Sundays are dedicated to Henry and Edith Blankespoor, my parents.
“Pray continually.” I Thessalonians 5:17
I remember more than one church gathering when someone would walk over to my dad, whisper in his ear, and soon my dad was in front offering the closing prayer. If an event somehow needed a prayer to ensure God’s blessing, Dad was the one to ask. This was especially true when our rural church was “vacant”—a word that spoke volumes for being without a pastor.
He had just the right mixture of husky vibrato and gentle conversational tone to make everyone feel as if he knew God was holy, but also talked to God on a regular basis. Those prayers, however, are not the prayers I remember best.
My dad started every day on his knees by his bed. A worried child who had trouble sleeping, I often tiptoed into Mom and Dad’s bedroom late at night or early in the morning. The image of my dad, kneeling at his bedside in an old white dress shirt—his nightwear of choice—reminded me a bit of a farmer angel. One stormy night I kneeled next to him and I knew I wanted to talk to God the rest of my life.
God, help of us kneel humbly before you as if we are angels working as farmers. Whether we talk to you openly or in the quiet of our bedroom, we thank you for listening.
An Iowa woman to the core, Helen is a high school teacher who lives out in the country near Knoxville, Iowa. Helen and Lee have four married daughters, five grandchildren, a graceful prairie, and a square foot garden.