Anyone who knows my dad, and especially anyone who’s been to his house, knows that my dad is a packrat. He can’t throw anything out. He’s brings to life the expression, “one mans trash is another mans treasure”. That’s because he sees the potential in everything. Where others see broken and worthless, my dad sees possibility. He can envision that an object might be worth more than meets the eye.
He sees people in just the same way. He believes in the inherent value of each person. He has an exceptional capacity to do what we are all called to do; see Christ in others. My dad has the gift of creativity. Many of you know that he uses that gift to make things with his hands. Creativity requires the vision to see not what something is, but what it can become. This applies to how he views others – not as they are, but as they can be. I believe his creativity is one of the greatest expressions of his faith.
If I had to think of one description of my dad it would be hard working. He worked many jobs to support our family. But more importantly, he worked hard to share God’s love and bring more people to the full understanding of the Kingdom. My dad never sought glory for himself, but always sought to glorify God. He became a deacon out of his desire to share the joy he found in the Lord and out of his deep commitment to help others experience what he has found in the power of love and the grace of redemption.
Growing up with my dad was a gift that I will never stop being grateful for. My father expresses his belief in us through unconditional love. He is able to be Christ like in his acceptance, his patience, his perseverance, his generosity, his service, his humility and his example. I have always seen my dad as a servant; one who could put aside himself and focus on the needs of others.
I consider my father to be the greatest role model any child could have. He taught us that you never give up, you treat people the way you want to be treated, you give thanks for what you have and don’t complain about what you don’t have, you pray when you are in need and you love your neighbor as yourself.
One of the things that made my father so successful in his ministry over the years is his humanness. He never came off as a pious, holier than thou religious figure. He is an everyman, no better than anyone else and he’ll be the first to admit it. People respond to that and can relate to him. He puts a real face on Christ.
I’ll bet you didn’t know my father had a “girlfriend” ministry. When he took communion to shut-ins, many of the people he visited were women. He would always say, “I’m going to see my girlfriend”. He brought not only communion but a good natured playfulness and joy to these women. He’d walk in and say, “How’s my best girl today?” and they would glow and grin from ear to ear. I wonder if he could even count all the girlfriends he’s had over the years.
I often run into people who knew my dad as a teacher, or a deacon, or a hospice volunteer. Our name is unique enough that I’m often asked, are you related to Ed Wight? When I say, “Yeah he’s my dad”. I always get the response. “Oh I love your father. He’s such a nice man.” To which I always respond, “Yeah, I love him too, he’s one of my favorite human beings on the planet. “