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.
- Its Mine!
- George Davis, Missionary to the World