My father doesn’t seem to go unnoticed, regardless of where he is. He can be in a place he’s never been before in another town with complete anonymity, and he’ll make a significant impression – guaranteed, every damn time.
You see, my father is a outspoken, argumentative, people-loving Italian. If you think its a mouthful in writing, well, you should meet him in person. You only have to be serving him at the petrol station, be an innocent customer at Bunnings, or sit next to him in a waiting room to understand what i’m trying to say. He doesn’t go anywhere unheard, essentially. He inherited Nonna’s assertive, but loving personality and one of his greatest joys in life is to get to know every person he comes into contact with.
He’ll be confident even when he’s pretty sure he’s wrong, fight to no end when he’s right, and stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves. He drives us mad, has more tanties than me, but he has a voice that doesn’t go unheard. There’s nothing passive about Dad, his energy and passion will either exhaust or inspire you. The risk is worth it, the potential to inspire is an incredible opportunity.
He’s probably the most powerful witness I know. He’s been through the mill, but always comes out smiling and joking – not at all indicative of a mill. He can suffer loss in the form of death, crop losses and financial loss, but his faith remains unwavering. I don’t know about you, but when i’m faced with even the slightest of challenges, i’m known to throw a tanty and take more time than is necessary to lean on God. You see, Dad has faced loss in almost all forms, but he knows none of it compares to who God is. As long as he has God, he has hope, he has life. Life not necessarily on this earth, but life in heaven. So during the midst of something awful, he’ll find joy.
If you’ve come across Dad, you’ll either face palm and roll your eyes, or be spurred on when he talks to you about faith. He doesn’t discriminate, he wants everyone to know who God is. Even more than meeting a new face, he loves telling people about Jesus. I heard some time ago that we’re all born with gifts. Well, Dad certainly has the gift of witnessing. He’ll probably deny that being the humble person he is, but he won’t ever deny his love and passion for people and Jesus – combine the two and he’s right in his element.
Because he’s so outrageous, feathers rarely go unruffled. I wouldn’t call this his strong point, as people can be left hurt completely unbeknownst to him. He never, ever intends hurt, but a loud and outrageous Italian is bound to put his foot in it once in a while. He has no shame, and although this can go against him in a societal point of view, its also a powerful trait which enables him to share the gospel.
One of the many things Dad taught me that I only recently became appreciative for, was resilience. Through seeing first hand the loss he’s had, to the constant challenges he’s been faced with, its taught me resilience. Its taught me that no matter the challenge, you get up and you keep going. With God, you’re never alone, and he’ll look after you. It doesn’t equate to an easy life by any means, but it does mean I know it’ll always be okay. In every awful situation, there’s beauty to come from it – thats exactly how Dad lives. I only realised this recently, and he’s definitely onto something. He’s taught me to have passion for what I believe, love when I don’t want to love, and have joy in all that I do.
It was common for my Griffith patients to recognise me as a Bianchini, or as Mitch’s daughter, but instead of rolling my eyes with “here we go again”, I can smile, and be proud. I’m proud that my earthly father is the outrageous Italian that he is. I hope I develop Dad’s passion for not only the gospel, but for life. He’s my earthly inspiration.
You wouldn’t be able to celebrate Father’s Day without us kids Dad, but we wouldn’t be able to celebrate Father’s Day without you. Happy Father’s Day, you outrageous clown.