Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trusting Fathers

My Dad was struck down when I was 11 with what the doctor’s described as “the body of an athlete and the heart of a 70 year old man”. He was basically an invalid the rest of his life. His muscle could do anything but it would kill him literally if he did. He handled his health problems with his typical German determination and lived the rest of his life on the edge of doing the most that he could…all of it in ministry. Deanna’s dad Troy was rarely sick and the most self sacrificing and other oriented man I have ever known. A broken down coal miners son, he worked from the time he was 12 in the mines to support his family. On a trip to his childhood town my timid wife went door to door looking for someone who may have known him. To her delight she found an old friend of Troy’s. This family was the one Troy had talked about. They had 21 children! They remembered Troy as the same man I knew. He was always a sweet, kind other centered man. When he died he had next to nothing of his own. No tools, not hobbies, no treasure. My dad left some furniture and an heirloom ring he had made from the gold of his, my mom’s and his parents rings. I don’t want to paint them as perfect, they were not, but I would not recommend you mention that around me. They were close enough to perfect for me. At the time of his death, my father was easily my best friend. We talked constantly. I have the phone bills to prove it. What we lost in childhood memories due to his health, we more than made up for as men, working together, ministering together. Poppy, (Deanna’s dad) lived with us his last five years. He taught me so much about growing old without getting old. Cancer finally took him after a brief fight. As opposite as these two were in many ways, they shared core values. They were absolute men of their word and honor. My dad offended his pastor just before the pastor moved to another state. Dad got on a plane, flew to the pastors new church and made a public apology to him in front of his new congregation. That was near 40 years ago. I had lunch with that pastor last month. He still loves my dad and misses him. Poppy sold a car to a man who did not register it in time and wrecked the car in an accident. Poppy paid for everyone’s expense even thought it really was not his problem. He worked two full time jobs almost all the time I knew him. These were men of their word. I have never met their equal. I trusted them completely to do all they said they would do or die trying. I am really fortunate to have had them. It still hurts not having them. We had wonderful relationships. After I left California, Poppy and Dad teamed up. Poppy did all the physical things for Dad that I used to do. They fit, we fit. In many ways, they were my umbrella. Storms were not so threatening. They did not have to do anything and most of the times there was absolutely nothing they could do, but living in the relationship with them helped me tremendously.
They are gone, but I am not without my umbrella. I have one, I just struggle sometimes to use it. I have no idea why I am so stupid, I just am. I know what the problem is and the solution. With Dad and Poppy we worked on (it really wasn’t work) our relationship constantly, talking about everything, doing things together, watching, admiring, loving and being loved. The confidence and courage to face the hard times was crafted and cured in the day to day relationship of the good times. Oswald Chambers put it this way: I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him 4-21. Today life reminds me that I am not there yet. I never questioned how the love of my dads for me. I had about as good of examples as a man could hope for. I totally believe in my head Hebrews 11:6 but sometimes there is a time lag between my head and heart. My relationship with the Father must more closely resemble my relationship with my two dads. I am better than I was, but not where I want to be. How about you?

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.


Doni Brinkman said...

This is the gift that just keeps giving because I would say all this and more of YOU. You are unparralled and I don't care if they do say "I am a "yes" girl" hee hee.

Laurie said...

There is often a huge lag time for me. My heart usually always gets it first but then my stubborn totally illogical head has me questioning everything! Its these blogs that help keep me from letting my head get the best of me. God lives in my heart. My head needs to just be quiet sometimes and let God lead my heart!

Aimee said...

I couldn't agree more with what Doni said Dad:).

heidi jo said...

moved in ny heart and spirit