Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him”
My dad would be 97 today, but he went to heaven instead at the age of 61. This giant of a man – in my eyes – stood about 5’6″. He was a complex man, having spent most of his childhood without a father of his own. His dad disappeared one day and they never heard from him again.
From that time on, my dad and his three siblings were partially orphaned, but they still had a strong woman for a mother. As dad grew up, he took on many of the responsibilities of a father. He took many tough jobs at an young age, to help support the family.
This wonderful man also had a bit of a dark side (as most of us do.) He liked to drink. Maybe it softened his having to grow into a man at such an early age. Maybe it was an escape for him. He could drink anyone under the table, but rarely appeared to be drunk.
He was strict. He never laid a hand on us, but he certainly knew how to use words that stung even more. Self esteem wasn’t in his vocabulary, but responsibility was. He expected a lot from his two daughters and we were both low on our own confidence pole.
Fathers have a way of defining who we marry, what we become in life and what we expect out of ourselves. For a long time, I was afraid of my heavenly Father, because I compared him to my earthly dad. It wasn’t until I married, that I discovered there was more to God than simply an angry Father.
He’s been gone for 35 years now and memories of him have softened. I realize that he was doing the best he could. He loved the Lord and served Him in our church. He knew that he was forgiven and in his later years began to share that with us. I miss him still.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!
Despite all his faults, he remains one of the most important people in my life. He gave me one gift that has supported me through my life. He felt it important for me to get a good Christian education and of course that meant a private school and lots of money that we didn’t have. Dad took on more extra jobs to make that gift possible.