Today is a very important day; it’s the day my dad was born.
Living here in Bloomington–and probably just in general–it seems that fathers are not always popular people. I think that’s sad. Growing up, familial ties were stressed as extremely important, over friends, over ambition–but just below God, since God gave Adam family (in Eve) very soon after his creation.
To be fair, we live in a world of humans. Fallible, selfish, harmful and hell-bent creatures that we are, and only a small population of us try to be better than our natural inclinations.
This is my father.
When I was really young, I remember I thought my dad was the most handsome man in the world. I was actually jealous of my mom because she wouldn’t let me marry him.
My dad is thoughtful, intelligent, loving.
We disagreed (in high school and college more than presently) on different topics of faith, religion, politics, law, philosophy, but my father always had a steady belief. He researched the topics that interested him, and–regardless what I thought about his reasons for his stance–I couldn’t help but acknowledge his commitment to what he found as the truth, nor could I disdain the logic that lead him to that truth. His humble and generous compassion for my stubbornness, and his guidance to Right thinking were all invaluable to me as I grew.
My dad is a man who is wholly committed to his faith and his family.
When we were missionaries, visiting churches was part of the job description. In this country especially, it seems most people assume the missionary family consists of a pastor, his musical wife, and their angel children. Forget the angel children, but my dad? Is a copier technician. Because of his calling, I have come to believe strongly–God can call anyone. And my dad, believing in faith that God was calling him, chose to act according to his belief. Of faith. He had no guarantee of anything working out.
My dad is long-suffering, patient, and kind. He provides for his family.
When we moved back to the U.S., I remember that my father held a number of short-lived jobs. He was trying to find something to support us all, and that was hard for someone who had left his career only to return a few years later. It also appeared that, with many of my dad’s skills, people often took advantage of his kindness and willingness, to get more out of him than they were giving. And he forbore it with humility.
Don’t get me wrong: perfect human fathers do not exist. But my father is truly a character among men. I often wished to be as intelligent as he is, as humble, as willing to work for the good of others. I have been overwhelmingly blessed with his kindness and his love, but the best part about being an adult is that now we can be more truly friends.
Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you very much!