Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

When much of the Western Hemisphere is sound asleep, or just crawling to their beds, I make my way to work.  Summer mornings are not nearly as bad as those cold winter mornings when the comforter seems to pull me back beneath its warmth, and dogs like snoring contentedly at the foot of the bed.  Not because I am a sunny, make-lemonade kind of person, but because of my German utilitarian blood, and an earnest effort to simply get through the next twenty years or so of employment while maintaining some wisp of sanity, I have embraced those wee hours of the morning as my quiet time.  I read the Bible left behind by my father, an edition of the Max Lucado NIV.  I love holding the same Bible my father held, turning the same pages he turned, wondering when and why he underlined certain passages -- what significance they held for him.  In the stillness of the morning I commune with the One who saved me and remember the one who led me to Him. 

I would love to say my father and I were so close I know exactly what he thought as he marked those words, that we shared those Scriptures together in our talks.  I imagine what it would have been like, sitting beside him in the pew at his church, maybe celebrating his birthday, as he opened that Bible to prepare to receive the message God had for him.  I can't.  The drama, bitterness, duplicity, hypocrisy, rage, rebellion and fears of this world erected an impenetrable wall which stood for years between my father and I; bricks laid one by one, mortar that kept the wall firmly in place, his workmanship and mine.  God forgive us.

For years I wavered between remaining a scared, hurt little girl or an angry, cold-as-ice youth.  I look back now, ashamed I never relied on God's strength and, at least tried to reconcile while he was alive; he was my father, after all.  Sadly, his death made it easy for me to come out of "that place."   I'm not sure, exactly, what his death did for him; I have an inkling, and I envy him.  But I'm sure he sees things much differently now, as well; I loved him then, and still do.  We allowed ourselves to be bound by earthly laws and emotions, things that the perfection of the cross negate.  We capitulated to the gods of this world -- self, unforgiveness, spite, arrogance -- instead of capitulating to the God of Heaven who operates in the spiritual realm, with power unspeakable, under laws He put in place before He breathed life into any of us.

My message today, this Father's Day, in loving memory of my father:

Whatever it is, whatever pain you carry, whatever road you've travelled or mountain you face, God is the Ultimate...  He will climb it with you in His arms.  He will bear it as you walk freely, unburdened beside Him.  He will overcome it as you kneel prayerfully before Him.  He will heal it with a touch of His hand.  He will restore it when the laws of our society dictate it is beyond repair.  Don't let one more day go by, surrendered to the ruler of this world; lay it all down at the feet of the great I AM. 
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