My father was one of the kindest men I’ve ever met.
He’s been gone for nearly 24 years now but his memory is buried deeply in my heart. I was not a very good son, you see. My father was super sensitive and suffered from a lack of confidence and I thought too highly of myself and disrespected my father on far too often an occasion. He wouldn’t demand my respect, he wouldn’t threaten me, he wouldn’t try to put me in my place. Instead, Dad would shake his head, smile my way and with a twitch of his nose he would tell me that he had already forgiven my act of arrogance. I can’t ever recall him disciplining me when he didn’t first explain “why” he was delivering out punishment. And, he always told me that whatever the punishment I was about to receive, that it hurt him more to be the deliverer. Even as unobservant as I was back then, I could see this painful truth written all over his face. Dr. Scott was a kind man.
My father loved me like I was his most prized possession and yet he never tried to hold his position over me. I can’t see my fathers smile and haven’t for a long time except in my minds eye. My heart is so small in compare. Of course, my father would see it completely differently. He would tell me, “Chester, you are doing a whale of a job and I could never have imagined you doing any better.” He would tell his friends that, “Chester is the best son any Dad could ever imagine.” And, he meant it.
Fathers are a precious gift with a special, God given purpose. Fathers are called to more than just provide. Fathers are called to LOVE. Fathers are called to give their children the gift of these four words, “I believe in you,” as Pascal echoed many moons ago. My Dad gave me his belief. Wow, did he ever. Through this work I’ve observed a lot of fathers and their sons. I’ve noticed some belief, I’ve noticed some protection, and I’ve noticed some love. Sadly, however, I’ve noticed something that none of us Dads wants to send and none of us sons wants to receive…
As we pause to observe this blessed celebration of Easter, lets take some time to remember the love embodied by our heavenly Father. He who has every right to demand our respect, put us in our place, force us to follow Him, and demand our humility, has chosen, instead, to not give us what we deserve. Our Father, instead, gives us His love and patiently waits, and waits, and waits. My father taught me that however great his love was for me, that it paled in comparison to the love that our heavenly Father has for us. It’s taken me a long time to fathom that thought. Slow down and reflect, friends. What do you believe about our time here? What kind of man/woman are you becoming? What’s at the center of your strong core? What are your deepest held beliefs? What’s coming out of you under these pressurized moments of forced isolation? Way more anger has come out of me than I ever imagined. God, help me lose the fear, loosen the grip, and remember whose son I really am. God, help me be kind.
Thanks for your example, Dad. I’ll see you later. Happy Easter everyone…