I have a treat for you today. A dear friend offered me a chance to post her thoughts online. I hope you enjoy her insights as much as I did. (Thanks Clara!)
June was Father’s Day month. Some people don’t get very excited about it. They spend most of Saturday trying to find a Father’s Day card that isn’t too mushy cause they have never been close. Or finding one that doesn’t lie: “To the most wonderful dad in the world!” or “Thank you for always being there for me.” It’s hard if your dad met few of the real needs of your heart. How can you give your dad a card that says you’re proud of him when your heart screams to hear him once, just once say he’s proud of you?
What do you do?
Do you become a little numb and hide your heart so you can buy that card, get that gift, make the expected visit, wish Dad a happy day and pretend, again, that you’re a happy family eating pie? We say “Happy Father’s Day”, but for many people it is a very sad day.
So, I’m thinking I’d like to share some “daddy” stories — let’s redeem the dilemma!
I remember when our oldest son Jonathan was just a boy and graduated from big wheel to Fuji 10 speed bike. Dad took him up on the road, gave him pre-ride instructions, held on to the seat, and followed his son, cautious about not letting go too soon. Soon he rode all over the neighborhood, independent, not needing instruction from dad. Herb stood at the window, watching, knowing that eventually his son would fall, as all boys do, and that the road was gravel, not smooth. When that day comes, Dad leans over the tub, scrubbing the stones out, applying healing ointment, and bandaging him up.
I have a Father in heaven, who takes time to give me pre-ride instructions every day as I ride the bicycle we call life. He keeps His hand on my back to keep me steady, and He steers me away from big rocks that could make me fall. And if I’m feeling really independent and skip the morning talk and just take off without Him, and come back all banged up, He washes the stones out of my skin and applies healing ointment. He loves me that much. He’s my Dad!
I have another Daddy story.
When our second son Benjamin was about 10 years old, he announced that he wasn’t all that sure he really wanted to go to heaven because if it was just like church then it’d be boring! Good traditional Lutheran dad’s first impulse was to panic and scold it out of his son, but he checked that response, and took his son up on his lap and talked about what heaven could be like, and he let the boy talk, too. Herb promised that God would never let him be bored in heaven.
You and I, we have doubts sometimes, and crazy thoughts that we are afraid to express. Questions we don’t voice anymore because someone panics when we do.
I have a Father in heaven who is never panicked by my doubts or fears. He loves to pull me up on His lap and listen to me ramble on about what doesn’t make sense and what I don’t understand. He gives me His undivided attention and never shushes me. He loves me that much. He’s my Dad.
I have another story.
There are not many things I am afraid of, but huge black hairy ugly spiders that come into our house sometimes do me in. We had them in our basement when I was a girl and I knew they were waiting to pounce on me. Now when they come running across the floor, I have that same fear. I know they would love to just jump up on me! Somewhere under all those legs is a springboard enabling them to land on me in one leap!
I start yelling, “Herb, Herb, come quick…spider!” He immediately drops whatever he’s doing and grabs a newspaper and comes and smacks the daylights out of that spider who threatens my life. It’s just a little spider to him, and he knows I could kill it myself, but he never tells me so. He just comes running to my rescue.
I have a Father in heaven who is never too busy to come running to kill the spiders in my life. He never says, “this is the 50 millionth spider! Isn’t it about time you learn to step on it yourself!” No! He sits waiting for me to yell, “Daddy, Daddy, come quick”. He’s always ready to come rushing to rescue me from the latest “spider” that looms in my path. He loves me that much. He’s my Dad!
One last story. One day our boys decided to have an adventure, so they took off through the woods and field, flashlights in hand, coming home a few hours later sticky, smelly, muddy messes. 2 muddy messes! “What were you doing?” “Exploring the sewers.”
After the appropriate groans from us, Dad took them around to the side of the house and hosed them down before sending them off to the showers. We couldn’t wait to get that sewer gunk off them, and see our huggable boys underneath.
I have a Father in heaven who knows I need adventures in my life, and He understands that sometimes I take a wrong turn and find myself in a sewer and end up with smelly gunk all over me. When I find my way back to Him He hoses me down, scrubs me off really good, hugs me and is glad I came home. He has never once said, “don’t come near me…go get washed up first!” He loves me that much. He’s my Dad.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
So, we may not have had earthly fathers who loved and nurtured and cherished us. Some of us never will. But we do have a very real Father who is always ready to give us instruction, to listen to us talk, to rush to our rescue, and to clean us up when we make messes.
Aren’t you glad?!
Do you have any good “Dad” stories? Have you ever thought how they reflect the heart of our Father God?