It has been nearly four years since I lost my dad. Even now, those unexpected waves of grief can swallow me. There’s a moment I dread every time I return to my hometown, Portland, Oregon. It comes when I walk past the spot in the airport where he was always, always waiting for me.
I miss that hug and kiss every time.
The latest wave sent me digging through files on my computer for traces of him. We exchanged a lot of emails over the years. That’s where I found the message he wrote while he was reading my first book, When Life & Beliefs Collide, for the first time, but not the last.
Needless to say, I was anxious to learn what he thought.
He had just read the the chapter where I explain my conclusion that ezer kenegdo (a.k.a. “suitable helper” in Gen. 2:18, 20) is a warrior. Ezer is the name God gave the first female when he cast the mold for all his daughters. (See “The Return of the Ezer.”)
The starting point for my research on the meaning of the Hebrew word ezer actually began with my father’s teaching. He gave me a strong start because he believed and taught that the help God intended for his sons was spiritual in nature.
Here’s what my father wrote me:
“I have finished Chapter 9, but was not prepared for what I was to read. I have taught for a long time that Eve’s job as a helper was primarily to help Adam spiritually, but I have never gone into it like you did. I felt that you did a great job, supporting what you had to say from other parts of the Word of God. And I am sure that you are right. I suppose that will be the chapter that some men will criticize, but I hope that those who read it, will read it with an open mind and heart.”
To this day, his words still carry a potency that only a father possesses. Who knew grief could lead to fresh encouragement for me to ezer on!
Some words are meant to last.