Father’s Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I called my dad and wished him a hap­py father’s day. I told him I was glad he was my father and I meant it. Not so many years ago I couldn’t have done that. But I had a garage sale, as our pas­tor at Flatland Church has been preach­ing over the past few weeks in his Garage Sale ser­mon series. A few years ago I was able to get rid of that bit of junk in my life, a ter­ri­ble rela­tion­al block­age, because Jesus had paid the price.

My dad is an alco­holic. He has been sober for many years now and for that I thank God. However, as a child and young adult, I was hurt deeply by him. Because of his alco­holism, he took from me many things that I held to be dear or impor­tant to pay for his addic­tion. I feared him, was angry at him, and didn’t trust him.

Possibly even more impor­tant, I was ter­ri­bly afraid of becom­ing like him. I know that I have a com­pul­sive addic­tive type per­son­al­i­ty just like what I saw in him. I won’t get near alco­hol, gam­ble, or oth­er destruc­tive behav­iors because of it. But even so, I tru­ly wor­ried that I would become a seri­ous­ly destruc­tive per­son, some­thing that I prob­a­bly came very close to becom­ing at one point.

I am not sure exact­ly when but some­time in the 80’s, some­one got in touch with me and told me that they had seen his obit­u­ary and was sor­ry for my loss. My reac­tion to hear­ing he was dead was one of relief. The fear was gone, no sor­row, no mourn­ing at all.

Several years lat­er my sis­ter informed me that he had con­tact­ed her. He was back from the dead and all that fear flood­ed back in. I felt guilty for not want­i­ng him to be alive but the pain that he had caused me once more became alive. Actually, the pain was still there, I just didn’t see it as much. It took great effort to talk to him even though he had turned his life around and was serv­ing the Lord once again.

I am not sure exact­ly when or even how it hap­pened but God worked in me and I have been able to for­give my father. I can even be thank­ful that he is my dad. Yes, I still feel the pain some­times but when I do, I look to the cross and see Christ pay­ing the price for all our sins. I see my heav­en­ly Father for­giv­ing me and my father for the sins we have com­mit­ted even before we did them. I remem­ber that God will work out good things for those of us who love and believe in Him.

A while back I was suf­fer­ing real bad with neu­ropa­thy in my feet, legs and hands. I could bare­ly walk at times. It still some­times springs up again, some­thing to do with low B-12 vit­a­min lev­els but not near­ly as bad as it had been. We were at my niece’s wed­ding and I was strug­gling to get around. My dad went out to his car and got a walk­ing stick he had. He gave it to me. This pic­ture is me with a sil­ly grin on my face hug­ging the walk­ing stick at the wed­ding. That walk­ing stick is a trea­sured item now for me. Not because it helps me walk when I am hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ty but because my dad gave me it. I don’t know why it means so much to me but it does. He has giv­en me many things such as for my birth­day and Christmas but this was some­thing spe­cial.

It took a lot of God pow­er to turn my dad into the man he is today. It took as much if not more God pow­er to get me to for­give my dad and tru­ly love him. And I do love you dad. It was a hap­py father’s day.

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