Growing up, my house was different than a lot of families i've heard about. My mom and i . . . i can't remember a single argument between us. We've always gotten along pretty good. But Dad and i . . . well, we can argue the same point to each other and both leave crying. Thus my high school years, especially, included more than enough yelling, probably invited by my own teenage hot-headedness.
Since i left home, i noticed that visits are best if not TOO long. After we get over being happy to see each other, we can start to argue and hurt each others' feelings over nothing at all. It's silly really, but true. And almost every time, i can hear my mother's words, "You guys are just too much alike!" or "You're both saying the same thing!" These are words that a daughter who's presently upset with her dad might not want to hear.
But adulthood and distance brings new perspective. This last visit with my parents was especially nice, and it ended much too soon. I've been thinking about it this week, and while i don't think that i really am all that much like my dad (except in the ways that make it easy to argue), it wouldn't be so bad to be like Dad. My dad pastors a small church in cold and snowy Michigan, and i got to see him in action last week. It was really beautiful.
Daddy loves people. A lot better than i do. It just all kind of spills out of him, and kids, especially, feel it. All the church kids run to their pastor for a big hug every time they see him. And he LOVES that!
Everybody who knows Dad knows that he cries a lot. It's one of the things that makes it fun to do nice things for him. If you can make him cry, you know he liked it. Now, you might not think this is a good trait. But it is the result of a soft heart, one that cares very much about the people around him. And he allows himself to stay soft and tender, even though the lack of pretense and facades often leaves him teary.
Dad is sincere and passionate. That passionate bit is why we argue. When he believes in something, he stands for it, a trait that is rare these days. The passion to work hard to affect the world is priceless, and it has left a trail of people all over this country, who have been positively changed because of Dad's passion and commitment to serving God.
Dad gives great hugs. That speaks for itself.
Dad loves. I think that's called being like Christ. Isn't it?
This is why i think it wouldn't be so bad to be like Dad.
Daddy, i think that by the time you got over the shock of the big surprise, last week, the week was almost over, and we didn't get to spend the time together that we might have planned in other circumstances. So i just wanted you to know how much i love and admire you. You are a beautiful beautiful result of God's love and grace, and i treasure you. Don't worry. Even though we don't get to see each other much here, we'll have plenty of time "in the air." Thanks for doing the work and following the calling of God. I love you.