(I wrote this a few years ago but some things never change - they just get better)
You have taught me
the honesty of George Washington
the unprejudiced of Abe Lincoln
the forward thinking of JFK
the fight of Eisenhower
You have shown me
the brilliance of Einstein
the character of Christ
the heart of Mother Teresa
the unconditional love of a Father
You have encouraged me when I was disheartened & been the shelter I could run to in times of hurt and loss. You have always been there for me during the laughter and tears. You have shown me through your actions how to be a true friend, parent and spouse. Though I’ve not learned the art of portraying the unconditional spirit you love us all with, I continue to pray that one day I will.
You have been an incredible example of how a man should live and love and play and pray. Your strength of character – steadfast in goodness – is unsurpassed. I am continually thankful to a God who would give me such a leader in my life. You have taught me that people are more important than tasks.
We have had the greatest discussions and solved so many world problems in the middle of the night. You’ve enthralled me with stories of our family’s history and we’ve grown together through the character of your ancestors. We’ve counseled each other –good or bad- it was all fun. I pray that this year you will receive as much as you have given and more. You are an excellent Dad. I have learned more from you than anyone in my life and have loved you with the same intensity.
My Dad’s been visiting this week. I have been blessed to have known him for over 50 years now and I’ve laid everything aside to spend every minute I can soaking up the stories and listening to his voice. I remember once Dad telling me that when Grandpa passed away the one thing he missed was hearing him tell the tales he had heard a million times before; I don’t want to miss a thing. We’ve been great friends all my life. I can tell him anything and visa versa. He is proud of everything I do; he champions all our causes, gets behind the ministry and cheers us on from behind the scenes. We don’t always agree on politics but we wax eloquent for our ‘side’ and laugh as we move on to the next thing. What we have no control over doesn’t matter. What do matter are our values and how much we love each other. In 3 days he will leave again for another year. We’ll cling to each other’s voice over the phone, knowing that if anything happens we have loved unconditionally.
I am blessed, to know an earthly love that exemplifies a heavenly love. And yet…not as much still. God loves us even more. How can that be? I marvel at God’s heart for us. It is so all-encompassing. We can enjoy His presence in every step of our lives. Wherever we go, He is there. He IS love (1 John 4:8), and that love is ‘manifest in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him’ (1 John 4:9) Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:35-39). That is enough, yet there is more. More love, more forgiveness, more kindness, more provision…He is omnipotent, omniscience, omnipresence and omni-more!
Two Fathers, Two incredible Loves – one temporal, one Eternal. Thank you to the One(s) who loves me most!