Honor Dad Written by Bonnie Ricks, used with permission
When you think of your father, what comes to mind first? For me, it was my father singing. He had a beautiful tenor voice, and he used it his entire life - almost 100% in church choirs and roles as a church's tenor soloist. Beyond that, I remember little of his fathering. something I received much more of from my grandfather, Bampaw. the man I talked about a few days ago.
He had eight grandchildren, but I've always known I was his "favorite". I don't know if that was a prejudice he held all my life, or it came about because I was there when some of the traumas of his older years occurred. I was going through some personal ordeals at the same time, and we clung to each other - finding peace and unconditional love in each other that neither of us could find anywhere else.
He had a workshop out behind his house - the house he'd built with his own hands during the Great Depression. the house that was forever sitting backward on the lot after a tornado picked it up and turned it 180 degrees and set it down again. With some help to jack it up, my grandfather reset the foundation, and re-plumbed and rewired the house, leaving it sitting in its new - rather odd - position. Later on, he added onto the house in such a way that eventually, it stopped looking like it was backwards.
In the workshop, he had all his trains, running on a track that followed the perimeter of the workshop, going through a tunnel out into the storage room and back again, and then across a wonderful drawbridge that - when lowered - totally blocked the door, keeping anyone and everyone out. except us. I can't count the number of hours he and I "hid out" in the workshop, keeping the drawbridge down, and turning a deaf ear to the buzzer my grandmother had made him install so she could "summon" him whenever she wanted.
We would while away the hours, making lead soldiers, repairing trains, painting accessories and scenery for his locomotive landscape. and I, a little girl, learned to operate things like a metal lathe, a wood lathe, a jigsaw, and just about every hand tool in existence. We built furniture for my dolls, and even turned one of my dolls into one that could talk. long before such dolls were commercially available. and ours had a huge repertoire of things to say compared to those now on the market - all recorded in my little girl voice.
I remember his gnarled old hands, and covered with small scars and tipped by fingernails that hadn't been totally clean in 50 years. I remember his glass eye, and his huge "Jimmy Durante" nose, and the fact that if I wanted to whisper a secret, I had to do so in his "good ear". I remember how often he encouraged me, giving my dreams wings with his words. And I remember how many other people saw the same things in him that I saw, and how deeply loved and respected this wizened little man was in spite of his "lowly" position on the social pecking order.
Bampaw died in 1965, suffering his second stroke in two years. Even today, 49 years later, I miss him, and wish so much he could see his great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren - all of whom would love and respect him as I do still. This month we will celebrate Father's Day, whether you live here or some other country, if you are blessed enough to have a father, honor him. God has given him an awesome and weighty role, and he needs and deserves your love and respect. Whether he does his job as father well or needs improvement, that's between him and God. Your job is to honor him by living a life that is pleasing to the Lord. So, honor your earthly father as best you can.
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.Exodus 20:12