Scripture: Nehemiah 3:12 Next to him Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs (to the walls of Jerusalem), he and his daughters.
Observation: It’s easy to pass right by this verse without noticing something significant. Shallum participated in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem – with his daughters. There are no other females listed among the long list of people at work, so they were likely the only ones. We don’t know anything else about this family. We don’t know what happened when the daughters grew up and started their own families (as they likely did considering the gender expectations of the time). We don’t know if they got along with their father or with one another. But I’m willing to bet that, many years after the wall was complete, they would sit with their aging father and remember the time in their youth when they repaired the walls of Jerusalem – together.
Application: I’m guessing many of you reading this blog are also users of Facebook. Some of you are reading this ON Facebook. In any event, you likely know that Facebook periodically places old photos in our update feeds to remind us of past events and asks if we’d like to post those pictures again. Recently Facebook showed me the picture you see above, which is from 8 years ago. My daughter Danielle and I were having dinner together before heading to the daddy/daughter dance at her elementary school. A lot has happened since that evening.
Danielle is graduating high school this year and starting college in the fall. Like most daddy/daughter relationships, the teenage years haven’t always been easy to navigate. I think we’ve both done our best while making many mistakes – especially me. She’s practically a young woman now. Things are different between us, as one would expect. Not better or worse, just different.
But as I look at our picture again some wonderful memories flood my mind. And, like Shallum, I hold such memories close to my heart.
Prayer: Dear Lord, today I give you thanks for daddies and daughters. Amen.