Is there room for another sappy Father's Day post?
As I sat in church this morning, listening to the Father's Day message, my thoughts once again turned to my dad. He was a great dad and wonderful example in life, but the deepest impact came, I think, in the blessing of watching him pass from this life into the one beyond.
Death is the scary sentence that each one of us face. Our crime? Simply having been born an imperfect being in a fallen and imperfect world to imperfect parents. No amount of hard work or bargaining will remove the certainty that comes with time, time that flies by faster with each year that passes. It's almost as if we gain momentum as we go.
I can still hear my dad say, "I don't WANT to die. There are still a lot of things I'd like to do." But he had also chosen not to fight the cancer growing within with drugs and radiation. Of his decision he remarked, "What's the worst that can happen? I die?" It felt unfair in so many ways, but Dad knew he would only be fighting the inevitable.
My dad, the man who had welcomed his children into this world, sheltered and provided for us, prayed over us and for us, was about to give us one of the greatest gifts a parent can leave their children and grandchildren. He showed us how to die. He held onto his faith in Jesus when life's darkest moments came. When it took all of his strength to say two words, he used those words to strengthen and encourage us in the faith.
There are plenty of moments when my faith is shaken, moments when holding on to faith in Jesus and doing the right thing feels literally impossible. And then I remember my dad. I remember him singing, praying, and quoting scripture,. I remember his tears at the realization that he wouldn't be here to take care of Mom in her final days. And I remember his prayers, prayers that we would hold onto the faith that led him through life, would now carry him through those last moments on earth, and finally usher him into the world beyond.
Thank you, Dad, for the gift of faith. It's not always easy. The world isn't much on Christianity, and honestly, we haven't always set the best example, but at the end of the line, there isn't anything better.
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