Monday, June 21, 2010

Greeting Card Dad

Yep, Father’s Day was yesterday.  And as always, I had my annual stress-out in finding a perfect Father’s Day Card.  Hallmark never seems to hit the spot.  My Dad was different.  He did not fish.  He did not golf.  He was not funny.  He had no hobbies.  He worked a lot.  He started his own company when I was in high school, and then worked even more.  He was a man of few words.  Very few.  And like us all, he was a little rough around the edges.


How do you find a card for a man like that?


He was not who I wanted him to be.  And it has taken me a long, long time to break out of that greeting card mentality to appreciate him for who he is.  He is my dad.  He loves me even though it took him about forty years of my life to verbalize it.   He will be 89 years old this month.  He lives alone in a retirement village in Florida.  And I call him just about every day.


Now, as a grandma, I look at him through different eyes.  I can extend grace to him because I realize my own shortcomings.  I am not perfect either.  He did the best he could at the time.  And I feel like sometimes I didn’t even get that far.  And why do we seek the perfect parent?  Because God has wired Himself in us to draw us to Him.


This is how writer Jill Carattini said it in the e-newsletter “A Slice of Infinity” yesterday:   “Such is the startling, radical message of Christ.  There is a Father who knows you by name, in whose house you are invited to be who you are—to live and work and play as He created you.  "In my Father's house are many rooms," said Jesus, "if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you" (John 14:20).  What if there is indeed a Father who waits, who longs to gather his children together and take them into his arms?  Some will be transformed, some will be broken, some will not be gathered in this life.  But God offers us a place, positioned within the greater offer of adoption.  He is our Father whose name is hallowed and whose kingdom we seek, whom we know through the Son and worship as children.  He is called Abba.”

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