Facing Goliath

by Rod Smith

Given that it is Father’s Day I have to tell you my father was a David who had his fair share of Goliaths. He had many in all shapes and sizes and spread over many years. I’d suggest being fatherless from birth was a Goliath of sorts. I’d suggest the Second World War must have felt much like a Goliath to much of the world and to a 15-year-old boy going off to war before even needing to shave. I guess entering the Indian Ocean off a burning and sinking destroyer to find safety was certainly a frightening encounter. Floating in the ocean, protected from sharks by the oil that has surfaced from the sinking ship is not usually the safe option. Floating for hours – about 30 in all – in oil and debri and being fried in the day in the scorching sun and freezing in the night while hoping for rescue may well qualify as a Goliath. Dad said the men in the water sang “Nearer My God To Thee” and “From Sinking Sands He Lifted Me” and “Abide With Me” a lot. But, he did it. He did it all. My dad was a long way from perfect but I have noticed he was much more imperfect when I was younger than he is now. I guess he improved over time.

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