“With the cruelty of youth I allowed myself to be irritated by traits in my father which I have since regarded as lovable foibles.” - CS Lewis
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” - Ephesians 6:4
Dad, I love you more than you were able to receive from me. Thank you for being faithful to Jesus Christ, and to your family. Thank you for loving my mother selflessly, the way Christ loves the church, and for modeling leadership, and a life of repentance. Thank you for instilling in my sister and I the importance of the cross, and for being a better father to me than you ever really believed that you were. Thank you for always telling me that you were proud of me. You have no idea how much I miss that affirmation.
I wish that I’d have not neglected our relationship the way that I did, and I’d give anything to remedy the void that I caused. I can’t wait to spend father’s day with you in heaven, the way you’re spending it with grandpa, now. Despite the fight of all human logic, I am believing in faith that is a hope I realistically cling to.
The legacy you have left behind will extend to your children’s children. My family will reflect the way that you loved me. How I wish that my wife would have known you the way that I did as a child on my training wheels: a father whose calloused hands held onto my seat to steady me in the day, and flipped through the thin pages of Scripture at night. Tough hands that defended family and a tender voice that told me about Jesus as the prophet, priest and king of our home.
I love you, and I miss you, and if you could have known how much I miss you now - really known it and felt it in the depths of your heart and mind - maybe you’d have believed me when I told you the same six months ago.
Regardless, I believe that when the last of life left your body, you stood before God at the judgement seat redeemed and reconciled through the blood of his son to our creator, and all of your fear, and the nightmares that kept you awake at night, and the demons that haunted you in your bedroom in the dark, and all of hell that had you convinced you’d fallen from grace, and every condemnation that was seeded as a lie at root, vanished in light of our Father saying:
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”