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THE BURNT HAT

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The philosophy of Len Leane, the father of Bruce was to overcome what life threw at you and come out on top.

‘I saw in my father a mix of strengths and weaknesses, many of which I have inherited,’ Bruce says. ‘The trait I valued most was his compassion for the underdog. I think I inherited that trait because when I see someone being unfairly treated I just have to go to their rescue and fight for a better deal.’

‘My father played a big part in my development as a boy,’ Bruce give a chuckle as he remembers an incident with a neighbor who had had his hat burnt.

A neighbor, James, not his real name, had lost his hat, after some detective work he discovered some boys had burnt it for a joke.  James beat a path to Dad’s door, ‘Your two boys burnt my hat I ought to knock your block off,’ James angrily accused.

I and my brother were listening from behind the living room door, shaking in our boots. We were terrified. We were there when his hat was burnt and knew who did it. We were scared for Dad because he was like a David and James a Goliath.  We were sure Dad would be killed.

Dad stepped out onto the veranda and looked James in the eye, and dared him, ‘Come on then, knock my block off, because my two sons were not involved in burning your hat.  They know better than to destroy other peoples’ property. ’ Dad was angry at being rudely addressed and secondly, having his sons accused of a crime when to his mind, they hadn’t done anything wrong.  Dad and James glared at each other, dad’s chin was jutting out rock-like, just daring to be hit.  James turned and walked away, we boys heaved a sigh, we had been saved, dad, was still alive.  James never found out who burnt his hat, he blamed us though and never forgave us.

‘I was so impressed with my father’s courage and daring,’ Bruce said. ‘I have never forgotten his recipe for living.’

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NO GREATER LOVE

I, the writer of this story, am also impressed with God. More than impressed because of who God is and his unconditional love and his daring to release his only son Jesus to come to this earth and save me and the rest of humanity.  In making me his child, he has become my Father, he has taken up my fights. God has smoothed out the circumstances even though he knows I have not always been in the right.

What God has done is more than I deserve, yet his love for me made him seek a way to redeem me.  It was Jesus who took my blame and wrongdoing when he hung on the cross, and in turn gave me his goodness or righteousness.  My position with my Father has not been earned it is an unearned gift, I’m so impressed that I have elected to become the Father’s child, I have let go everything I thought was good because my Father’s love is all I want.

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Bruce’s father’s love for his sons was impressive but my heavenly Father’s love is unexplainable, depthless, we can never measure it this side of eternity.

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