A couple weeks ago, I shared about my mother’s battle with cancer here. Now that she’s with Jesus, I thought I would share some more scattered reflections –this time about my dad.
When I grow up, I want to be like my dad…
I should say; if I ever grow up, I want to be like my dad.
I know this is a common refrain from boys all over the world, but it’s taken me over 40 years to realize what young boys seem to acknowledge early on. This simply was not a reality for me when I was younger. I had no real aspirations to follow in my father’s footsteps career-wise, and spiritually my dad became a follower of Jesus after I had already moved out of the house. I’ve always had love and respect for my dad, I just can’t recall ever aspiring to be like him.
That has recently changed. I can now say with absolute certainty that I want to be like my dad! Specifically, how he loved his wife just like Jesus loves the church.
I want to be like my dad in his humility. He truly put my mom’s needs above his own.
I want to be like my dad in his faithfulness. He acknowledged how hard this was and how he really did not want to walk this path. This raw honesty did not prevent him from being faithful to accomplishing the task. In fact this sort of honesty is reflective of Jesus, who also asked his father if there was any other way, and yet was faithful to drink the cup that was set out before him.
I want to be like my dad in his passion. Even at the end, while in the hospital room, my dad was taking opportunity to share the love of Jesus with people.
I want to be like my dad in his sacrifice. My dad laid aside everything to care for his wife. For nearly a year he cared for her 24/7, foregoing complete nights of sleep, and often not going out because my mom needed care. This certainly is a reflection of the kind of sacrifice Jesus made for the Church.
I want to be like my dad in his grace. In the midst of my mom’s loss of cognitive ability he was gracious. While not perfect, his patience in dealing with my mom was a great example, and reminded me of the patience and grace that Jesus extends towards me.
I want to be like my dad in his devotion. At the end, my dad was absolutely empty, he was empty physically –his exhaustion was evident to everyone. He was also empty emotionally. He gave everything he had. He ran until he had nothing left. I hope I love my wife like that. I know that is how Jesus loves the church.
I want to be like my dad because he helps people see Jesus.