Calloused hands, dirty britches and just enough spare change to get your son a generous gift -- a pack of baseball cards.
Honyaks live in a hard world. Especially in the early part of 20th century America, the lower middle class wasn't afforded too many luxuries. Credit cards weren't as available or encouraged as they are today - - so people scrimped, saved and ate a lot of potatoes to get by. They were forced to live under the every day cold and often cruel realities of life:
"Rent is due tomorrow, looks like left-overs for the third straight night. "
"I'll patch the knees on those pants, it's the only pair you have."
"A man's word is a contract signed...and if you choose to renege on our promise, I will have to let my Uncle Vinny know."
In this rough and tumble time, parents were forced to be brutally honest. They had to be, because the world around the Honyak didn't cut you much slack. My dad grew up in this world, it formed the fabric of his mind, so let's just say he never sugar coated his advice to his kids growing up. He was always brutally honest.
Sure, sometimes his opinions hurt our feelings, but they kept us out of a lot of trouble. Sure, it wasn't always politically correct, but it saved us from putting ourselves in dangerous positions. I had four sisters, they were very pretty, and my dad was a protective father. So my dad would say, "You aren't wearing that, you will attract the wrong kind of guys. And who are those sleazy girls you are hanging out with, you can do better than that?" Did that hurt my sisters' road to feminist self-actualization? Did it forever scar their fragile female psyches (because you know how misunderstood and disrespected women are in our culture.)?
The reason my dad was sometimes caustically honest to my sisters and me was because Honyaks don't know what "self-actualization" means. ("Is that what happened to John Lennon when he was smoking hashish with the Maharajah?") They were too busy trying to pay rent and please their bosses than to worry about pop-psychology and books by Betty Friedan. Honyak fathers also know their daughters would be better off living under the sound advice of unvarnished honesty from a man who was responsible for them and loved them more than words could say. The word father used to mean something. Something good, strong, protective and....honest.
I can remember my dad receiving a phone call from school about my unruly behavior. It was Sister Joan of Ark on the other line. I told my dad that she always over-reacted - she was once again wrongly accusing me. Do you think he cared? Honyaks take the blame, they accept the responsibility and so do their kids. I had to go back to Sister Joan of Ark, apologize profusely and volunteer to clean the black-boards for her for the next week after school.
Brutal honesty. It keeps you out of trouble and it saves you from dangerous positions. Honyaks are brutally honest about God too! Some of the Honyak's favorite verses tend to focus on the brutal unapproachable holiness of God:
Isaiah 6:3-4 "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. At the sounds of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
Psalm 50:21-22 "These things (unrepentant sin) you have done and I kept silent; you thought I was altogether like you. But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face. Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue."
Wow, those verses are scary. But the nice Christian who is compassionate toward the sinner who can't help sinning will point out, "If you notice both of those verses are from the Old Testament, that is where God had an anger problem. He would never talk like that in the New Testament." Oh yeah? Have you ever read 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10? Go ahead and read it. Jesus is dangerous too!
Because of this honest representation and fear of God, Honyaks are not scared to warn people. Honyaks know that "the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) If you try to guilt the Honyak by painting him as insensitive or uncaring he will probably look at you and say, "So? I am way more scared of a Holy God than the opinion of Ellen Degeneres." (Just a side question: Why are people so taken in by the opinions of celebrities these days?)
I was asking my mom about my grandfather the other day, and she told me a little about his life: "He was born in Alabama, lived on the shores of Mobile Bay, got his first job as a professional wrestler, joined the army, fought in Germany, came back to Cleveland to be a mechanic, and finished his career as a parking lot attendant. Nothing flashy about him, just a man who loved his wife and kids, and his favorite thing on earth was to spit watermelon seeds with his granddaughter off the porch."
Spitting watermelon seeds with a granddaughter! That sums up the heart of a Honyak! In fact that is really all a Honyak wants out of life. He wants his family safe, he want to live with people who love them, and he wants everything under-girded by a healthy belief built on the foundation of the fear of God.
Honesty is hard to come by in the early part of the 21st century America. We have become a people that think we can get by through creating our own personal truths. Honesty does not rule the day, culturally liberal pandering and psycho-babbling is now the norm. Victim-hood is the norm. Putting on airs bought by credit cards is the norm. And the lack of belief in a Holy God is the norm.
Honestly, do you even care that God is Holy? Do you?