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My father’s favorite saying was, and, unfortunately, the thing I remember most about him…
Do as I say NOT as I do.
My father was not an honorable man. He was a liar, a cheater, and a manipulator. I’ve never actually wrote that down until right now and even as I type I attempt to find words that aren’t quite so harsh. Yet, those words describe the man I remember.
He was the first-born to my favorite grandparents, Harold and Emily. They were faithful, God-fearing, Jesus-believing parents and they loved their son. My father had a younger sister, Ruth, a beautiful woman who died in her 20’s – a grief that ripped my grandma’s soul. I believe my grandpa always saw the truth about my father; but not my grandma – the sun rose and set on him. When he married my mom they were delighted – she was young, beautiful, and a new and faithful believer – they couldn’t have been more pleased. Of course, when my sister came along it was heaven on earth! Four years later I bounced in and we became the lights of their life. Our grandparents played a huge role in our childhood years – they cherished us and our mom. They protected us, because you see early on my father’s true colors began to bleed through.
These are the things I’d like to ask him this Father’s Day:
- Why would you strike my mom when she was pregnant with me?
- Why did you buy your daughter a cute little car and then practically beat her up as she drove it for the first time?
- Why did you leave your adulterous love letters in the glove box of your car so your 11-year old daughter could find them?
- Why did you choose other women over the three who loved you best?
- Why, oh why did you not choose truth and morality over dishonesty and adultery?
But I cannot. My father died in 1999, married to his third wife and estranged from his daughters. Sad, isn’t it?
Not everyone has awesome things to say and remember on this holiday – I want to be sensitive to the hurting. I want to remember the years of struggle I had trying to relate to a Heavenly Good Father when my only experience with fatherhood was disappointment and negativity.
I don’t even know how to end this post except to say that God can and will heal old wounds – He binds them up and brings healing and beauty to the ash heap of failure. One must give Him the hurts and scars and then allow Him to restore your soul.
Because He will.
My sweet friend Beth shared this song with me, I think it will minister to all of us: