During the early years of my growing up, I did not appreciate my father. He was often an angry, impatient and unpredictable person…not especially sensitive to his wife or children. The stresses of trying to make a 40-acre farm provide for a family of 7 did not help the situation, either, and although I desperately sought his approval, I never felt I measured up to his expectations.
My parents made sure that we children attended Sunday School, and we often attended our local church. There, I acquired a different view of fatherhood. I saw God as a Father…the father I was missing at home…and I desperately sought His approval, but I was pretty sure I didn’t have that, either.
Then, during the middle years of my growing up, that all changed. At the age of 24, married with a little daughter of my own, I finally met my Heavenly Father when I read that I was “accepted in the Beloved”…His own Son, who died for me! He forgave me and loved me in spite of all I had done to Him.
That changed my perspective on my own father…and the ways I had failed to respect and obey him. One of the hardest things I have ever done was to go to him and ask his forgiveness for my failure as a daughter.
Fast forward to the most recent years of my growing up…
Over the past 10? or 15? years, my Dad has been growing, too. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s…Dad has had hip replacements and major back surgery, his own health is precarious…and something wonderful has happened. He has met his Father, too, and I can see the resemblance more and more every day.
The impatient, unpredictable man I called “Dad” is now my mother’s chief caregiver. He cooks for her, helps her dress, monitors her medications, changes the dressings on the ulcers on her legs. He is patient, kind and gentle. He is committed to caring for her to the best of his ability. Tomorrow when our family celebrates Father’s Day, we will also celebrate my parents’ 65th wedding anniversary…and I will thank my Father in Heaven for giving me just the right father here on earth.