Today is Father’s Day. And it happens to be two days after my father’s birthday, June 14th, ninety-four years ago. It has been over twenty years since my Dad passed away. But I think of him often. I owe him a lot.
Among the many things Dad tried to show me, I am thankful for three.
First, his love of family. Now that may not sound particularly unique or special. People should and do love their family. But there was a sacrificial ferocity about Dad’s love for his family that in some ways defies description. He would do everything in his earthly power to help his children. And he was totally devoted to his wife. Indeed I remember sharp lectures on how I should treat my Mom, if not for the fact she was my mother at least out of respect that she was his wife. Dad wanted little and gave much. His family was everything.
Second, his passion for truth. Dad had this incredible curiosity. Moreover, he had an insatiable thirst for getting at the heart of any issue – personal or political. In the process, he didn’t mince words. Some people found him blunt (including even his children!). Call it what you will, Dad brought a refreshing honesty to any conversation. He didn’t shy away from the “elephant in the room.” In fact, he was the first person most likely to say, “Hey, there’s this big elephant in the room! Before we talk about all this other unimportant stuff, let’s talk about what we’re going to do with this big elephant … ” He forced hard discussions. It wasn’t for the sake of argumentation. It was a desire to get at the heart of an issue. And it was his way of showing his love for someone. As he told me once, “if you love really love others, you’ll eventually talk about things people may not want to talk about … but should.”
Finally, his faith. Dad was a passionate Christian. He would remind me that life is not things. Life is not experiences. Life is not a random act. Life has a purpose and that purpose is to serve He who created us and sacrificed for us. If Jesus was just a smart guy and the Bible is just a book, then life is one big crap shoot. But if it is all true … then that changes everything!
Family, truth and faith.
Thanks, Dad, for showing me how to have a passion for all three.
Happy Father’s Day.