My Daddy—Our Father
It’s Father’s Day. The memories of my Daddy ( I never called him “Dad” or “Father”, which was too formal for him), are priceless. He was a giant to me, not in stature with his 5’6″ frame, but in character, in compassionate love, and in his faith.
When he arrived home each night from work the first thing he would do was wrap his arms around his “bride” (my mother), who was busy at the stove cooking his dinner. Their love for each other was solid and strong. He loved to dance with “Lorinda-girl”. As a little girl I wanted to dance with my Daddy, too. So placing my small feet upon his bigger ones, we’d dance to the radio all over our living room.
Fond memories drift in my head today of warm, summer nights in June in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Our neighborhood was close-knit. When the sun went down and all the neighbors had finished their dinners, they’d come out on their front porches with their glasses of ice tea, and sit in the cool air. No one had air conditioning, so all the homes’ windows were open, and the porches were the gathering places for family and friends. Each night was my Daddy’s time to play his honkey tonk music on his beloved piano. With windows open, all the neighbors could hear him create his night time concert. Some would clap at the end of each song.
But if Daddy quit his jazzy repertoire too early, they’d shout across the street, “One more, Ted. Just one more!” And so he’d dance his fingers across the keys for one more song. Those were comforting times, close-to-the heart times, when the pride in my soul for that Daddy overwhelmed me.
Sometimes, for no reason at all, he would just say to me with a sparkle in his eyes, “My Kath”. It wasn’t because I had just accomplished something, like acceptable grades in school, or because I could play the piano in a certain way. Even with pimples on my face and gangly 12-year-old legs, he would still look at me and say those precious words, “My Kath”.
Those words and that look spoke to my heart. I knew how he felt, and his acceptance of me, warts and all, paved a way for the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father.
Our Father, Who Accepts Us, Warts and All
When I pray daily to my Heavenly Father, I know without a doubt that He accepts me, sinful as I am. I know this not only because my Daddy modeled that unconditional love, but because the Bible tells me clearly: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Chirst died for us.” Romans 5:8
If that’s not love from a giant of a God or acceptance of who we are, then there is nothing greater than that! I can call Him “Daddy”, which Abba Father means. Jesus himself used this term in Mark 14: 36, “Abba Father…” because of the close relationship he had with His Father.
I am sensitive to those who perhaps did not have that close relationship with their father while growing up. But our Heavenly Father can fill that void, providing the love and compassion you need.
I also grieve with you if this is your first, or your twenty-first Father’s Day without your Dad. I, too, miss my Daddy. The memories of this giant man for me go on and on, providing me with smiles and love to carry throughout my days on earth.
Thank you, Abba Father, for my Daddy!