Rodney Mullins Online
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My childhood giant

My childhood giant

I remember as a young boy that I stood in wonder as I looked up to a man that seemed 7 foot tall. He worked hard with his hands and lived with the heart of a lion. His love for his family took him to two and sometimes three jobs to make sure food and fun was a regular part of their lives. He was in my eyes the strongest man in the world. There were no degrees on his wall and few people called him sir. His pay at times was small but his salary was the joy in knowing he was doing what he had to for his family.
Over the years I watched as this giant of a man was stricken down time and time again as his body failed him. His mind still filed with a dream of seeing his children at their best and led by the hope that he would see each of his children rise to their potential.
Over the years I have fought many battles and faced many struggles. My dreams at times felt like unreachable goals. My heart has been crushed by the wounds inflicted by those who could not see or hear it. When the struggles seems unbearable and doubt tempts me to see my weaknesses and not my strengths I remember that giant of a man with calloused hands that never stopped no matter the odds and I press on.
Some grow up on the right side of the tracts but we grew up on the wrong. Some had the resources to go where ever and when ever their resources could take them we had not much more than our dreams. Our conditions were difficult and many times it was way too hot in the summer and way too cold in the winter but our dreams kept us moving forward.
Today I still stand amazed at the struggles of little education and resources that my father was able to overcome. Did he give me an education? Did he give me resources? Did he place a silver spoon in my mouth? The truth is he gave me none of these things but what he gave me was so much more than any of that he gave the ability to persevere in tough times. Never in my childhood did I ride in a new car nor live in a new house but I grew up in a wonderful home. He kept it a secret, he never let us know how tough it was to provide for us, and he made it look so easy.
Way up in his seventies he is much slower now and he is weak and struggles to keep his balance. He sleeps more than ever and it is easy to see his struggles on his face.
As I sit here today thinking about my father I smile. I smile because I realize that he has given me more than money could ever buy. He gave me a drive to see my dream come to fruition. He gave me the hope that all things are possible. He gave me the perseverance to fight every battle till the end. With all this the greatest gift he gave me was a love for the hurting and a compassion for the less fortunate. I hurt when others hurt, I weep when others weep, I bend down to the broken, I bleed with the wounded and I pray for those that cannot or will not pray for themselves.
There has never been a moment in my life that I was not proud of my father. There was never one second that I didn’t appreciate the price he paid to provide for me the ability to be who I am. Once while I was presented a sermon to a small group of people I noticed him crying. Why was he crying? It was pride. Although he was proud of me it cannot compare to the pride that I have for him.
My greatest hope in life is that one day my son’s will see and know my heart. I pray that they will have a heart for the hurting and walk in a spirit of compassion. If they weep for those that are wounded and if they sacrifice for the needs of others then they have captured who and what I am.
The greatest shock in my youth was when I realized that my father was only 5’6 and had very small hands and feet. I wondered what happened to that giant I called dad. Today I realize he is still there because it wasn’t his height or his weight that made him a giant to me…. It was the size of his heart. Thanks Dad.
Rodney
Dad

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3 Responses to “My childhood giant”

  1. I was truly touched my this story. Even though he isnt my biological father I have to tell you I have the most respect for this man and I love this man with all my being. He is an great example of a father one who loves his children. I take grear pride in calling him dad, and thank him for allowing me the honor to have married his only daughter and become part of his family.

  2. Dear Rodney,
    I also remember this “Giant of a Man”. I remember spending many summers in Toledo with your family. It was usually our only family vacation. I remember nights on the front porch and “the tub” (no shower). I remember every Sunday morning, your Dad getting up earlier than anyone in the house to start his “pick ups” for church or to get the church van. Jr Mullins is probably response for more souls than any preacher in our family. He was tiredless in his efforts to bring people to church. He was a walking, breathing example of the love of God. He wasn’t flashy, except with his cowboy hat and boots, but he was always ready to give you a hug and tell you how ugly you were :-). Never once in all my years have I ever seen anything but kindness, gentleness and his ever present since of humor. That’s where all you kids get it. It’s funny that when your young, you don’t realize that you didn’t have much because we laughed so much. Jr shared everything he had with everyone he knew (he reminds me of my Dad). He was and still is a great man and he is loved and respected by everyone that knows him. You are right to be proud of him and because of recent events in our families life, very wise to let him know how proud you are of him. Love the picture. It captures exactly the man I know and love.
    Love,
    Your cuz,
    Toni

  3. I remember feeling the same way about him Rodney when we were kids. I always wished he had been my Dad. He knew my father and what kind of man he wasnt and your Dad treated me like a daughter. I remember him being gone a lot working. We spent so much time at your house as kids. We ate your food, it was like your mom and dad had 7 kids not 5, but your dad never said anything he always made us welcome. He was always concerned about us. You aree so blessed to have the kind of Father you have! Nobody knows that better than someone who grew up without that privleage! I also looked up to him and respected him for the way he took care of his family and the fun and laughter he brought to all of us when we did see him.
    Brenda and I used to get excited to know he would be home from the road and we would get to see him. The way he loved and respected your mother was so awesome to see. Refeshing from what we were used to seeing!


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