Monday, June 13, 2011

In Honor of the Dads...

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;" Psalm 103:13



I was sixteen or seventeen. Funny, there are some details I can't recall of an evening I vowed I would NEVER, EVER forget. Regardless of my age, it was the events of this timeframe in my life that have stuck with me all these years. The love of my life (as high school romance goes) had broken my heart. His eye was caught by a tall, leggy blond up the street and somehow my petite, raven haired self no longer made his heart go pitter patter. My parents comforted me, turning on every light in the house that late fall night.

Sad and lonely, I would spend my normal date nights at home. My dad and I fell into a routine of watching movies after dinnertime, while my friends continued their date night rituals with their boyfriends. One such night, we rented the movie Ice Castles. A classic, in my opinion, we cried through pretty much the whole movie. Yes, WE cried. My dad, an engineer by trade is a gentle, loving man, who learned very young that his soft spots are very soft, and he has always yielded to the way God has afforded him the beauty of deep emotion. At one point my dad even shared his heartfelt desire to be a pastor...though this never came to fruition, my dad has served in multiple capacities in the church and has always honored my mother and his family in congruence to the scripture. He is a Godly man and I believe this has made an enormous impact in the life of his daughter.

A few weeks later, I sang and played an instrument for the high school Christmas concert. After we played, we were relegated to the audience while other groups had their time on stage. I had seen no program and had not viewed the other groups performances until that evening. The select choir took the stage and I heard the familiar chords of the theme from Ice Castles. I panicked. I knew I would cry the ugly cry if I stayed, so my only option was to exit the auditorium until it was over. I stealthily executed a perfect departure, and somehow even managed to keep my long taffeta skirt quiet as I slipped out the door. As the door slammed shut behind me, I turned to find my dad there just behind the door, his eyes wet with emotion and he admitted he'd never have made it through "that song" and with a wink, he embraced me as only a father can.

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

I have told and re-told this story. I was blessed to have a dad who was there, always there. He travelled weekly for work and yet, I never recall a time he wasn't there. Like my Heavenly Father, my earthly father has always been available. So, I pause and think about the God I love and the man, created in His image who so many times embodied the love that Christ taught him first. I am so thankful my dad has always been an integral participant in my life and not a casual observer.

Like this, the Lord meets us behind the door, in our seat, walking along...everywhere. He delights when we wake in the morning eager for His Word and His gentle embrace. He hears the chords of a familiar song and rushes to us, waiting to lavish us in His love and comfort us, if necessary. Even if our earthly fathers are not able, for whatever reason, to provide love and blessing; our Heavenly Father is! He willingly and openly provides us with our every need. This Father's Day, I celebrate my own dad; a great man. And I celebrate a merciful Father, ready for our undivided attention and willing to give us His undivided attention.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

Heather

3 comments:

Terry said...

Great tribute to your father!

christschild said...

What a lovely post:) How blessed you are to have a father as you do!
Blessings,
Elizabeth

Warren Baldwin said...

Nice testament to your dad and, by extension, to all dads who are there for them.