My dad was my hero. At least, he started out that way. He made me feel cherished, treasured, safe. (Luckily I don't remember the time he almost drowned me.)
I do remember the feelings of being treasured and safe. (Except for the diving lessons he gave me. Making me jump off the high dive when I was barely 3. Really?? That was a bit much. Although even that was a lesson in trust. He was waaaaaay down there in the water waiting for me each and every time I stepped off the board. Of course, he had to cajole and frighten me into taking the plunge...)
Anyway. Moving right along. He made me feel wanted. He wanted me with him as much as I wanted to be with him. (No, this is not going to be a sob story. Just read on, ok?) We ran errands together, did yard work together, cuddled together, talked about everything. He actually listened to my little girl chatter like it mattered. He even took me to work with him when he could. He was the one I wanted when I got hurt, not my mom. I wanted daddy.
Then one day when I was about 8 it all ended. Dad took a 30 year break from hero status and wallowed around in my heart as someone who couldn't be trusted at all. He suddenly abandoned his family and moved on. New wife, new kids, new state, new home.
About 2 years before he died my dad became my hero once again. But this time it wasn't because of how he made me feel-it was because of what he did. Over and over again in those last 2 years he pointed my nose in the right direction. I don't think it was intentional. He just lived a relationship with the Lord that amazed me. I don't think I've ever seen anyone else with a friendship like theirs and it made me want that kind of relationship as well.
During his last 2 years on the planet dad had lung cancer. He never once showed the usual emotions one would display under the circumstances. He never said he was angry, confused, or even fearful. He just kept saying, "Well, I've prayed and asked the Lord to heal me. If He does, wonderful. If not, I'm ready to go home. I'll leave it up to Him." I could tell dad meant it. You could just see that he'd surrendered his body and his future to the Lord and that was that. No arguments or bargaining. Just surrender and trust.
Another nose pointing moment happened shortly after #4 was born. Dad had come to visit with us and meet the newest member of our family. One morning I stumbled upon him during his prayer time. He was sitting on the edge of the bed, bible in hand. Laying across his bible was a sheet of paper with a long list of names on it. I shamelessly stood in the doorway, watching my dad pray. His lips moved, but his eyes were open and his thumb was systematically sliding down the edge of the paper, touching upon each name as it went. I knew dad was praying for those people. When his thumb came to the end of the list dad stood up, saw me standing there and smiled. "Ready to walk?" And that was that. He had placed each and every person on that long list in the hands of God and was able to walk away.
I, on the other hand, often pray like I fish. I throw a person out to the Lord as if they were a worm on the end of a hook. Then I quickly reel the worm (or should I say person?) back in and carry him around with me all day not surrendered at all.
I hate how I often end my posts. I really need to work on that. La tee da, tee da. Lesson learned. Thee end. But I don't know what else to say in this instance. Dad showed me how to live, I need to do it. Thee end.