Sunday, June 17, 2018

As far as the east is from the west...Father's Day memories

When Daddy left Mama and us kids for another woman, in my nine year old mind and heart I figured that Daddy had left Jesus, too. What I didn't understand is that Jesus didn't so easily let go of Daddy. Every Sunday our little church had a time for people who wanted prayer to come forward to the altar area. Every Sunday I went forward and had the pastor pray for my Daddy.

Daddy and I grew apart over the years due in large part to life circumstances, but also due to the hurt, and yes, unforgiveness, I still carried in my heart. I went off to college. I got married and my husband and I started a family. Daddy and his new wife were busy with their life and were raising two of her grandchildren. When I was pregnant with our second born, Daddy had a heart attack and open heart surgery. It seems like that was his turning point to make sure all was well between him and Jesus.

Some years later, Daddy's wife became very ill and the two of them had to be moved into an assisted living facility. When she passed away, he was moved again into a facility closer to where I lived. That's when God did a huge healing in our relationship. (If you'd like to read about that, click here.)

When I would visit Daddy at the care facility, his mind was often in a different place-most often, back in World War II. But when I would read the Bible, sing hymns, or talk about Jesus with him, amazingly, he would come into his right mind. Daddy showed me what God's grace in action looks like. When we would talk about Jesus, Daddy's face was the face of a man who knew he was forgiven and loved. It was the face of a man at peace with God.

Over a decade ago, the phone on my nightstand rang in the wee hours and the care facility called to say that my daddy had passed away. My husband and I rushed to the facility, and when I walked into Daddy's room I thought for a moment that they were mistaken. He looked exactly like he did when I would catch him napping. He looked peaceful. He looked happy. He looked at rest.

We had Psalm 103:12 engraved on Daddy's grave marker.  "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Yes, Daddy died with regrets. Though, he had asked us for and received our forgiveness, he couldn't undo the hurt and pain he had caused us in the past. But, he died free and forgiven, his sins as far away from him as the east is from the west. Hallelujah!

Happy Father's Day, Daddy. And Happy Father's Day above all to the Father in Heaven who filled in the gaps abundantly above all I could ask or think, where my earthly father lacked.

still following,

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful testimony to father's everywhere. We are all lacking and only come to our true potential with the grace of the father of all in heaven.


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