His watchmen are blind;
they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent dogs;
they cannot bark,
dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.
One of my favorite stories working with my dad happened at Andrews Air Force Base. Dad owned a steel erection company, and I was a foreman for one of the crews. One day the crane operator was on vacation, so Dad came out to run the crane. That day I worked as a connector, which means I was up on the building and when the crane operator swung the steel into position, I was waiting with another guy to bolt it in place.
The connector is in constant communication with the crane operator using hand signals to position the steel where it needs to go. Hand signals are the best way to communicate because the distance and the noise of the crane and other equipment make talking or even shouting almost impossible.
But on that particular day my dad shouted at me all day long, trying to tell me how to do my job. To be clear my dad was not mad at me. Loud was simply his normal way of communication, so shouting was not hard for him. Sometimes people thought his typical speaking voice was at a shouting level.
The next day the crane operator came back to work, so Dad stayed in the office.
When I arrived that morning a construction worker from another company on the job asked me, “Who was that man that yelled at you all day yesterday?” When I replied it was my dad, he didn’t buy it until another coworker backed me up that, yes, it really had been my dad. His final words were, “Man, I have never heard a man holler like that in my life.”
My dad could, and sometimes would, incessantly holler all day. But my dad wanted me to be the best. He was my most loyal friend on the job. Without a doubt, my dad molded my life more than anyone else.
In Isaiah’s day there were watchmen who would not bark. Granted most people do not want to be barked at. But prophets were to sound the alarm when the people drifted. Let’s be honest. It’s easy to drift…in our habits, in our eating, in our materialism, in our time on the internet, and even in the way we dress (I could wear the same t-shirt for weeks). Sometimes we need a person who cares enough to bark. We need parents, coaches, mentors, teachers, professors, and pastors who will bark at us when we drift.
You know, that day is one of the fondest memories of my life and of the days working with my dad.
I’m thankful I had someone who cared enough to bark.