I am still my Father’s son. I carry so many parts of his personality that it’s impossible to escape his influence, even if I wanted to. My Dad knew no stranger, he was a “friend of the world”…this served him well in the US Army and the US Postal Service where he was a mail carrier. His letter-carrier days remind me of one of his odd quirks: he hadn’t always been quick with names, but he never forgot an address. I can remember times when he and I would be out and we’d run into someone who knew Dad and they’d say hi and chat. As that person moved on I’d ask Dad who it was and, more often than not, he would remember address but not their name. No matter, it was the “label” he couldn’t remember, not the person.
My parents were both lovers of music and I received the “art-gene” from both, but it is my father who sang, with a rich and deep baritone-bass voice that I can still hear, in my mind’s ear, singing in gospel quartets or as I would accompany him singing, “The Palms” on Palm Sunday at church. A great appreciator of marches, my Dad could listen to any and all marches and identify them by name because he’d played so many of them in the Army Marching Band…sometimes I’ll listen to John Phillip Sousa as I’m going to sleep (odd, but true)….and can identify by name most every JPS march I hear.
If I’m with my Dad’s family it is obvious in looks and mannerisms that I belong to the “clan”…of course, the same can be said when I’m with Mom’s family as well…hmmmm…I’m not adopted after all!
None of us can escape our family heritage, we carry with us what was given to us. It is the same with our Heavenly Father: we can deny it, we can run away from it, we can refuse to believe it…but the bottom line is we are our Father’s children and we carry His breath (“I will pour my spirit/breath on all people”), His features (“let us create humans in our image…”) and His name (“I will call you My own…”).
Some people have problems with this “father-image” thing because THEIR fathers were nothing to brag about…fortunately for many, like me, making the jump from “earthly father” to “Heavenly Father” isn’t all that long a trip. But for those who are still seeking for a “good” and “faithful” father, our Heavenly Father IS the REAL and TRUE Father, by which all other fathers are merely poor reflections. He is quick to train, quick to give wisdom, quick to protect and quick to love. All of His witnesses, the scripture, nature, the congregation, the spirit, His Son, will testify to His “Fatherly” care and love.
On this Fathers’ Day without him here, I remember my Dad. Whatever you may do to honor or love your earthly father, be sure to take some time to acknowledge the reality of your Heavenly Father and His thumb-print on your own life. Each of us has something to teach the other about God, because we are ALL created in His image and we ALL carry bits of His personality with us…celebrate that truth and you will truly be free to be who you are.