Okay, here’s the truth. I’ve been sitting here for the past hour thinking…. how do I write about a chapter in the Faith-shaped life that I am just so not connecting to. Like I understand the importance of reading the words of faithful saints who have gone on before. I understand the beauty in a dying man making sure his spouse and family see the glory of God. I GET IT…..but seriously I am SO not connecting with it. Not even a little bit. Leaves me wondering what I can write about then… and then I got to thinking… My dad was a man of faith… I think a lot like him…he left a legacy of faith for me. Why not write about him?
Right up front I’ll tell you that Dad and I didn’t have the easiest relationship. We didn’t. Two people who preferred to do our jobs without asking questions or offering a lot of feedback… quick tempers and a lack of knowledge about why people do what they do. GAH… If only I knew THEN what I know now!!!! 🙂
My earliest memory of him though… pulling us kids through the water at the beach. This man who wasn’t really a swimmer took time to just have fun with his kids at the beach. We had SO much fun with him. He treasured his family. You know how God treasures us? Dad showed that to me.
Learning of how he quit smoking cold turkey because it wasn’t good for us children. We were so important to him, nothing dissuaded him from that.
The cat incident. My younger sister and I thought it was funny to shake some baby kittens after they had a full tummy of food. We laughed at how their tummies sounded. Dad heard about it, listened, then waited until after dinner when he picked us up one at a time and gave us a good shaking up and down. We learned… kindness to animals under our care was VERY important. God gave them to us to we need to care for them well.
When I look back at my teenage years I wonder how anyone could STAND to be around me. Seriously… angry, rebellious lass I was. I determined to spend as much time away from my dad as I could. Wouldn’t let him anywhere near me…Horrible I was.
BUT as much as I broke his heart, and I know I did, and eventually I came around again… but in the meantime you know what Dad didn’t do? He didn’t turn his back on me. As horrible as I was, he remained a steadfast caring dad. ALWAYS. How like God you know? God doesn’t give up on his kids. He handles our anger, questions, storming out of a room, and he welcomes us back when we get over ourselves and out of a snit. He does. And it totally blows my mind.
My dad and I developed a better relationship over the years. As he aged though, his mind started to leave him. It was sad seeing him go. Despite the falls and the memory lapses, two things never left him. His fierce love for my mom and his abiding love for God. Both were there all time. Always a smile or a look over, always his bible, a prayer or a song of worship at hand. Modeling what it means to love and care, modeling devotion to those who mattered most.
So yes, legacy matters. I can look back at my dad’s life and see what message he left behind. Perhaps not written down for generations to see, but lived out so his children could see, and hopefully pass along his abiding love for the things of God.