My Dad has remarkable courage. He managed to help raise four daughters and with only one bathroom, that wasn’t an easy task. He started out as a teenage father with a teenage wife and he could have walked away any time. He could have taken the quickest exit and shirked the responsibility. After all, he was young. He was good looking and he was headed to Japan just after the War ended. Instead, he returned from active duty to the young woman who held his only daughter and created a family. With what little he had when he left the army, he started taking care of his first daughter and created a second one. He had courage and honored his commitments.
As a blue-collar parent, he couldn’t always provide special things for his two daughters, who soon became three daughters, and then four, but he did what he could. He wrote poetry to honor their birthdays and made swings out of tires. He brought candy bars home in his lunch box and found great delight in letting little girls discover the treat. He laughed easily and hugged us a lot. He was proud when we achieved something in school and taught us all how to bowl and how to fish, two things he enjoyed.
I know that people who are blessed with good fathers have a better way of understanding their Heavenly Father as well. They can more easily imagine the twinkle in His eye when they do well, and the smile it brings when they discover the special treats He has for them. Earthly fathers sometimes reflect the One who created us and that reflection stays with us for a lifetime.
One of the things I loved about Wm.Paul Young’s book, The Shack, is his way of addressing God as Papa. Papa is such a warm and inviting way to think of God. It brings a sense of connection and promise, of healing and hope. Papa takes care of His own, loving and guarding and guiding each one. Good dads everywhere are reminders of Papa, of all that is good about our Heavenly Father.
To my dad, Doug Moore, I say thanks for the love, the guidance, and the hugs of welcome that always make home a great place to be. To our Papa in heaven I say thanks too for giving so many of us wonderful fathers, to laugh with, to grow with, and to love our whole lives through. Happy Father’s Day to all dads who share your gifts of love with your own children, or the children around you who see the twinkle in your eye.