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Saturday, June 18, 2016

To Fathers

Once while talking about the annual opportunity to honor fathers, a friend suggested that we could celebrate because we have pets.  Let me set the record straight by saying that Mike did not father our dog and cat. Mike also is not my father and therefore not only do we have a normal relationship, but we also have no reason to make a fuss about Father's Day at our house.  

Mike does have a father and we honor him each year by spending time with the family; reminiscing and laughing about days gone by.  Most of which I wasn't around for but I enjoy hearing the stories just the same.  Mike's dad has been a hardworking man and his care for his children has been a labor of love, dedication and commitment.  Because of this I have a husband who is equally dedicated and committed to his relationship with me.  If I can celebrate one thing this Father's day, it is that.  My husband's father. But I think there is more to celebrate.

Some wake up on Father's Day wondering why this day should be special.  Their fathers were abusive or maybe they don't even know who their father is. For whatever reason this day is the day that they feel a pit the size of an elephant in their stomachs as they hear people say, "happy father's day".  Good church going people stay home on Father's Day because they don't want to hear one more sermon about honoring fathers.  Sometimes hearing a pastor talk of God as father to bring comfort to a fatherless one is far from comforting.  It hurts even more because a wounded soul wonders, "where was this Father when I was hurting?"  I have wondered that myself and because of my experience in teaching the Bible and spending much of my life in Christian circles it would be easy to rattle off a quick response.  But I take a step back here and say to you, I don't have an answer to that.  I may never have an answer to that question.  Life has simply taught me to make the most of what I have been given.  What I have been given over the years is friendship with those whose fathers have been present.  I have witnessed what fatherhood represents when done with love, loyalty and commitment.

I know there are honorable fathers out there and I applaud them because their work is sometimes tireless and unappreciated.  You deserve this day of honor because your influence is reaching beyond the walls of your home.  It is reaching out to children who are desperate for any example of a good father. I was that child long ago and today I simply honor those men in my life who represented honorable fatherhood without being aware.  You deserve this day.

Happy Father's Day.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Give Me Five!

A few years back I gave a little boy, who was turning five years old, five one dollar bills.  I did this because I thought he would see five bills as being a lot of money.  Instead he looked at the meager one dollar bills and said, “These are ones, I can’t buy anything with one dollar”.  He tossed them on the table in disgust and opened the next card from his uncle. In that card was a five-dollar bill.  The young boy said, “now this I can do something with”.  To him the single bill stamped with $5 on it, was of more value than the separate bills that I gave him because he couldn’t see past the value of the $1 marking.  Eventually he scooped them all up and announced, “Look at how much I have!”  Holding all of the bills in his tiny hand finally made him realize just how much he really had. 

 I don’t know about you, but sometimes I view people in the same way.  When their lives seem to be in a million pieces, I have trouble seeing them as a whole person; a person of single value.  Instead, I pick them apart as if somehow the person whose life is in pieces holds less value than the one who appears to have it together.  I don’t like admitting this, but it is true. 

People are broken and sometimes it’s impossible for them to see past all the pieces to believe that they can be of any value.  What if we helped them by showing them one by one, the things that make them valuable?  What if we picked up each valuable piece and placed them in the hand of that broken person?  Maybe, like the little boy, they would be able to shout, “Look at how much I have” or better “look at how valuable I am”. 

Short and simple thoughts today and as always I hope that someone somewhere finds encouragement and hope in these words.  You are of value right where you are.

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