Yesterday was my Dad’s 91st birthday. He was 42 when I was born, so I’ve only seen the second half of his life, but I’m so grateful for what I have seen.
He has shown me what it means to be a husband by caring for my Mom since she had a major stroke 27 years ago. The selflessness in his service for her in ways neither of them conceived of when they vowed “in sickness and in health” back in 1951 motivates me in my own marriage.
He has shown me what it means to be a father and grandfather, praying for my extended family and me on a daily basis and being there for me when I’ve needed it. When I was in college, I got in a car accident. I wasn’t hurt, but when I told him about it, he took the day off of work to drive out and be with me for the day.
He has shown me what it means to be a pastor, deeply loving a particular community of people in a particular city, knowing each one of them personally (kids included), praying for then faithfully, leading then in mission, and presenting them to Jesus while presenting the Scriptures to them. He and Eugene Peterson are my two pastoral mentors, and I’d say Eugene is in pretty good company.
Has he been perfect? Of course not. But he has always been there and has always been loving. Throughout the changes in my life, he has been a fixed star in my skies, helping me to find my way. For that, I will always be grateful.
I love you, Dad.