A year ago today, everything was ready and Jesus came and got my Dad so he could be where He is (John 14:3, NLT). Awesome!
It’s been an interesting 12 months. I have watched my mother grieve as she feels the intense pain of loneliness and separation from her beloved husband of 50 years. I have also watched as her tears have turned from grief to a peaceful understanding that all is well because God’s truth and promises are rooted deep within her heart.
I have watched as dozens and dozens of family and friends have offered cards, phone calls, emails and time to reflect on how Dad had touched their lives in various memorable ways. Some with laughter, some with tears, but all with gratitude to a life very well spent.
I miss my Dad. He was a rock for me; my “life coach” if you will. We shared corner offices at work and meals on the weekends. We planned and dreamed together and attended countless ball games together. I was constantly encouraged by his faith and strengthened by his wisdom.
In the hospital room, shortly before he died, Dad looked me in the eyes and poignantly asked, “Are you ready to let me go?” I think of that moment quite often. Sometimes it wakes me up at night. My answer was a very honest and heartfelt, “No!”
Dad didn’t say anything after my reply. He was very weak and just held my hand as firm as he could. He simply looked deep into my eyes as if to say, “Better get ready. It’s your turn”.
I have never thought of myself as being fearful. After all, I know 2 Timothy 1:7 by heart, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” I can even give a fairly good Bible study on the topic. The truth is, however, I am fighting fear.
Fear that I will never live up to the stature of my Dad. Fear that I seem light years away from the spiritual maturity he exemplified. Fear that God, who is acutely aware of my weak and straying heart, will tire of my empty promises. I could go on.
Father & Son (2007 in Chile)
But if Dad were back in the other corner office reading this, he’d have a twinkle in his eye, a smile on his face, and a big laugh working its way up from his Santa Clause-ic belly. He would remind me–and you–that the Bible is rather full of stories of God choosing unprepared and unfit people for particular tasks. It seems, in fact, to be His modus operandi. “I know,” Dad would say, “because I was one of them.”
With that, he’d give me a big abrazo (hug), pat me on the back, and say, “Enjoy the ride, son, it’s your turn!”