Today, I celebrate the integrity, courage, and compassion of two strong and godly men. It’s Fathers Day, so it seems the perfect time. If you have been blessed with a father, grandfather, or paternal figure filled with personal integrity, then you have been blessed indeed.
Months after my parents celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary, my mom passed away. Through the good times, and some not so good times, my parents stuck it out. They never gave up on their wedding vows. They truly became ONE; in heart, mind and spirit.
The day after my mom’s Celebration of Life service, we moved my dad into a retirement complex. He didn’t want to start over. He didn’t choose to make a whole new life by himself. At first, he didn’t like his new home. He didn’t want to participate in the activities. He didn’t care much for the food. But it wasn’t any of that, Dad just didn’t want to be anywhere where mom was not.
For a long time, he didn’t even want to go on. This was the hardest move dad ever had to make. It took a tremendous amount of inner-strength, but dad kept moving forward for the sake of his family. Dad took some brave steps. He became a becoming a member at his church,.
Soon after his relocation, Dad befriended a man. Few of the residents at the Retirement Resort had the patience to even talk to this man, (he was a bit bitter). At 83, this man was not a believer. Dad invited his new friend to share in our Christmas celebration. The man agreed to come to Christmas dinner, and we had the opportunity to share some of our faith, and even pray with him that evening.
At one time, Dad would have been too shy to share his faith. Now he spends his Tuesday evenings playing crib with a group of people from his complex. During their crib games, Dad tells his new friends about his Bible studies, and when they ask him questions, Dad shares the reason for his hope. I’d call that courage, wouldn’t you?
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is inner-strength in the face of pain or grief. My dad has courage. It hasn’t been easy for him, sometimes it has required him to do things he doesn’t want to do. However, God said, “have courage and I will be with you”. I see the way God has fulfilled His promise to my dad.
I would never have recognized compassion as one of my husband gifts. Don’t get me wrong, Kelly has many many good qualities, but compassion? As I have watched my husband with my own dad these past months, I have had to wonder if “I” have any compassion.
Kelly goes out of his way to make my dad’s life easier – better. They share appys (a bowl of Doritos), while watching football, hockey, golf, or whatever sport is on TV. They sit together on our deck and solve the world’s problems. They golf together, go to hockey games together, text one another daily, and even conspire against me once in a while. As a result, they have become like good friends, in a way that I never could have imagined.
Compassion isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. It’s having a sympathetic concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. It isn’t always easy for Kelly, sometimes it requires tremendous sacrifice to make my Dad feel included. I’d call that compassion, wouldn’t you? God promises to have compassion on anyone who is tenderhearted toward others. I see God fulfilling His promise to my husband.
When it comes to the challenging vocation of a Father, God is the ultimate role model for all human dads. His love, kindness, patience, wisdom and protectiveness are the impossible standards to live up to. However, these two men are made in the image of their Heavenly Father. God rejoices in a men of integrity, so do their family. Today I celebrate these two courageous men.
Who are you celebrating? Father’s Day is an excellent time to affirm the important men in your life.
Happy Father’s Day and God bless all dads.
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