Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Tribute To My Dad

Today is Father's Day.  Being the fabulous daughter that I am, I neglected to do so much as send a card to my dad.  What use is a card, anyway?  It expresses my supposed thoughts towards my dad, only in someone else's words.  And after it sits on a counter or desk somewhere for a couple of days it just goes in the trash, anyway. 

Thinking that my own words might do a better job of articulating how I feel about my dad, I opted to share them here.

If you haven't had the pleasure of knowing my dad, I must say that the loss truly is yours.  My dad is an amazing man.  No, he's not rich or famous or even overly charismatic.  Meeting him won't leave you stunned and speechless.

But knowing him will bless your life incredibly.

When people ask me about my dad, I smile as I recall the many days we spent in the backyard throwing a softball back and forth.  How many times did he have to let himself out through the gate to retrieve a ball I had launched over the fence?  And then there was the day he was trying to teach me how to pitch...

I'm sure he must have been angry about that broken window, but I truly don't remember.

I remember riding behind him on the motorcycle, feeling the world rush by yet knowing I was completely safe with him controlling the bike.

SAFE.

Yes, my dad was always my safe place.  Whether I was hurt or scared or sick, my daddy's lap was the safest place in the world.  I can even remember curling up against him on the couch as a teenager when I had taken too much antibiotic and my stomach felt like it was trying out for the Olympic gymnastics team.  And then there were the times that I knew I had messed up, when I knew I was in TROUBLE.  Still, my dad was a safe place to turn, to confess my wrongdoing.  There was no fortress on earth as safe as my dad's presence.

But the one thing I always tell people about my dad when they ask is this:  My dad has been, and still continues to be, the best living example of Jesus that I have ever met.  I have watched him give and give and give of himself to the people around him, never asking for anything in return.  I have watched him grieve when his children are hurting.  He has walked with integrity and righteousness, and expected my brother and me to do the same.  I have felt his wrath when I have stepped out of line, but always, always felt the forgiveness and acceptance along with the punishment.  He has pointed me to our Heavenly Father with his words and actions alike.

My dad will never write a book or deliver a sermon filled with eloquent words.  That's just not who he is.  But my dad has painted a picture of Jesus with his life that - to me - is beyond parallel.

Thank you, Dad, for loving Jesus enough to be Him in my life.  Love you.

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