It all started 110 years ago today

Published 7:52 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

It is Jan. 25, 2019, as I write. My father, C.T. Bowen was born on this day, 1930. He only lived 37 years, leaving us as a young man on Dec. 12, 1967. There was much good in those 37 years, and there was difficulty and tragedy. As I’ve grown older, I realize that he gave me more than I could have understood as a young boy. When he left in 1967, I was 11, so I did not really understand much of anything, except that life really can hurt. I never thought life was unfair, just that you have to do the best you can with what you have, and press on.

Due to my father’s difficulties, he unknowingly taught me to be somewhat of an optimist. I learned that you have to see the hard side of life before you can smile and appreciate all the good things that come along every day. Burying your dad at 11 teaches you that happiness largely is the absence of tragedy. This one thing is different than I would have thought — I miss daddy more now than I did in 1967. I am far more thankful for him now. Part of that comes from being a father and knowing the impact a father has, no matter what.

Daddy is the one who shared that Bowen blood and a little bit of that rare humor. I am thankful for my dad for that attribute, along with many others. 

I always thought the Lord was telling me something when he gave the same birthday to the two men who had the greatest impact on my life. January 25 is not only the birthday of my dad; it is also the birthday of another great man — my grandfather Preacher E.H. Miller.

Grandad was born on Jan. 25, 1909. If he had lived, he would be 110 years old today. While he has been gone now for two decades — leaving us Dec. 29, 1979 — he left a legacy that can be felt today. The other night several church friends stood around in the vestibule for a long-time telling stories about “brother Miller,” some of which I had never heard. That happens almost everywhere I go. Those stories come from his traveling a million miles, preaching the gospel and establishing congregations of the churches of Christ all over the country. 

Today, we pause and celebrate 110 years and two legacies. Individually they made quite an impact on the world, though one’s legacy was quieter and short-lived. 

But when Preacher Miller gave his oldest daughter to one of those Bowen boys from out in the country back in 1948, the world saw the results of that curious mixture of Miller and Bowen blood.

The result? Well, I’m afraid you’ve been reading it every week now for a quarter of a century.