Growing up in rural Michigan was a time of innocence and rambunctious activity. The rolling hills were perfect to run up and sled down, and the tall, stately maples were the best for climbing. From the high perch one could imagine all sorts of things – everything from pirate ships to Cinderella’s ball. The only limit was the imagination of the child.
My parents provided an insulated, trusting, respectful home in which we were allowed to thrive. I could go on an on about both parents, but the focus of this post is my Dad. It is almost hard to begin to describe someone like him.
I will start with the hallmarks of his character. He was a man of honor, integrity and faithfulness. He could be exacting and have an endless supply of patience when working with wood, but electronics were another matter! He loved hot sauce before it was popular, and also adored fruit cake. (Was that ever popular?!?)
Most of all, Papa was a strong foundation in my life. He was someone on whom my siblings and I could rely. Always.
I never heard him complain about going to work, or much else, for that matter. When it snowed and the driveway at the farm needed to be plowed, he and my brother worked tirelessly to get it done. Sweating in the winter takes effort! Dad took his role and responsibility for us seriously and without grimness. He seemed to enjoy it.
He was a great representation of exactly what a Father should be….and, is it any wonder men are under attack and ridicule for being “manly” these days? Can someone please explain what is wrong with being strong and kind, serving and leading, generosity and discipline all at once?
Papa protected and cared for us. He wanted what was best for us. He spent the greater part of his life trying to make sure Mom and “the kids” had more than the bare minimum to survive. Love was a verb with him, acted out every day.
Dad was a great role model and made it easy for me to believe that God is truly a beautiful heavenly Father. God is a deity who cares minutely, daily, and has His child’s back. He has open arms. He wants, no – longs for us to come to Him.
My heart is grateful that I grew up in a time where fathers were esteemed and respected. My dad was a gem. I write this with tears in my eyes because I understand more now than I did back then. If you can hear this Papa, thank you! Thank you for uncompromising love that continues to shine today.
“…Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.” Mat 6:9-10 NKJV
I love you, Papa.