Letter Written to My Father

October 10 2004

Good morning Dad,

You came to mind early this morning. So I got up and decided to write you. If you were still alive this day I know where I would find you – downstairs on your knees in prayer, or reading the Bible on your side while lying on the floor. It would probably seem strange to some, but you felt most comfortable wrapped in a blanket, just spending time with Christ. I remember how Kole (your faithful dog) would lay perfectly behind your legs. You would gently rub his back with your foot as if to say, "Daddy’s right here beside you."

Finding you at your familiar post always brought about feelings of your consistency and faithfulness within my life. I always knew that no matter how tired I was when I came home to visit, I could walk down the stairs and find you spending time with the Lord. There were times I interrupted you, but you never made me feel as if you were too busy to chat or spend a few moments with your son. If anything, you always expressed how happy you were when I was home. I felt the same about seeing you and the family. That’s probably why I came to visit you even though I only had a few hours rest after returning from a long drive late that evening. I was like a little child excited to see his father return home after a long trip; however, this time, I was the one returning to those I loved so dearly.

I have to say, I was always amazed at you - especially your desire to be with the Lord despite your demanding schedule. Yet, your calendar always had, “Time with the Lord” marked out each day. That time really set the pace for your life and your family’s. Faithfully you awoke each day when life was still, when light was no where to be found. Before any of us woke up, we had been prayed for by you; before a word was said, your words were spoken over us; and before our hearts were filled with emotions, your feelings were of us.

I knew how important your meeting with God was to you. Yet, whenever I visited you during your quite time, you always stopped and simply gave me your undivided attention. You never made me feel like an inconvenience. Instead, your being you – my father, made me feel accepted and wanted, that same desire every son and daughter, every husband and wife, wants in a loving relationship. No matter what was going on in my life at the time, it was yours and mom’s continual love that was the driving force in my life. It was that encouragement and belief that God had something special for each of our lives, no matter how bleak or how good things were.

I remember specifically on a few occasions talking with you about some unique projects you and I wanted to embark on. We discussed several potential business ventures together and some unique opportunities that would be exciting, but it was our discussions about impacting people which I resonated with the most. It was your concern for very ordinary individuals that impassioned you, which, in turn, inspired me to not lose sight of the mission God had for me. Whether I work for myself, another company, or even in vocational ministry, you reminded me to never lose sight of God’s perspective. No matter if it was a significant relationship, a great career opportunity, or a life changing experience, you challenged me to seek God’s will first for my life. That was the most important priority.

I can’t say I have always kept my eyes on the Lord. Many times, unfortunately, my purpose got distorted and I take sole responsibility for it. Finding God’s leading for my life is not an easy task, but I do know from observing you where I could go and who I could meet with to find the answer. I also learned that knowing God could never be a thought or idea lodged in my mind; it was a real experience with a real God. It wasn’t just a momentary meeting, but an ongoing get-together, a hand-in-hand walk in the park, sometimes even a piggy back ride when I needed a lift. In another words, in order for me to really know Him, I had to meet with him every day, whether it was early morning, late at night, or somewhere in-between.

I really do believe you are looking out for us in some way, but if I had a hunch, it would be that you were principal in praying specifically for us. Besides the significance of losing you, I’ve had to face some unique challenges over the course of this past year, some related to work and some related to individuals. As I examine these times, I truly believe you were involved somehow by intervening and watching out for me. Just like when you used to pray for us specifically by name and by needs, I now feel you’re doing the same but on a far more intimate level. You're there praying for us and still having a hand in our lives.

Maybe that’s what makes fathers so unique and significant in their son’s and daughter’s lives. In a world that is becoming more and more unsafe, where values and standards are being lowered each day, and where the rate of divorce amongst Christian families now exceeds the general population, children need fathers, men like yourself. As you modeled to us, a father’s continual presence in the home and a strong commitment to his wife establishes security and assurance that he’ll always be there. A father’s words of encouragement fill the emotional tanks of his children, and his loving reproof acts as a guide to keep them on the straight and narrow path, and sometimes, a compass to direct them home.

What made you so unusual pops? I know you would say – Jesus. Still, I ask why was I so fortunate to have not just a good father, but a great dad? I would have to say, it was Christ’s unmerited grace towards me that I had such a significant man in my life. I am certain I will never meet another man like you.

I anticipate the day when I will wake early in the morning to meet our Savior. As I slowly pass my love and watch her peacefully rest her head on the pillow, my only response would be one of profound gratefulness. I also anticipate the joy of quietly sticking my head into each room and seeing the precious lives you’ve blessed us with. As I watch their little chests rise and fall, I can only wonder the joy and awe that will overwhelm my heart. Truly, these are the gifts from above and I must treasure and invest in them as you and mother invested in our lives.

Slowly, I am beginning to see why it was so easy for you to meet your Creator each day. Sure, your written list of thanksgivings was tattered and worn, but you knew that gratefulness and thanksgiving were the paramount attitudes we needed to live by. Through my stubbornness, I am learning these great truths you once taught us and through my brokenness, I am seeing clearer the heart of Christ. I don’t have the wisdom God built into your life, nor do I have the depth of compassion that ran through your veins. Nevertheless, may I grow not just in my awareness but also my ability to live them throughout the duration of my life.

This morning, as I awoke, I found a familiar, small frame resting against the back of my legs. As I reached over and laid my hands on his soft, black coat, I was reminded of you father.

Love you so much,