Yesterday all over the world people celebrated fathers. They celebrated the good, the bad and the ugly. They celebrated the upbeat and the deadbeat, the ones they could count on and yes, the one’s they couldn’t count on. No matter what their true identities were; in spite of, yesterday was a day noted to celebrate the man we call Dad; the man God gave to us as our Father. However, many choose to celebrate according to content of their character and not with the concept to build a character.
My father, now gone for four years was the most giving man I ever knew. I witnessed him repeatedly give his last dime, last meal and literally the coat off his back several times. I’ve witnessed the selfish take advantage of his selflessness. I witness the needy and the greedy take his kindness for weakness and so many misused and abused his giving heart and kind spirit.
In my confusion I asked, Daddy why do you constantly give so much to those who seem to give nothing or so little back? How can you continue to help others who never come back to say thank you? Why do you allow this to keep happening? Daddy in his clam demeanor and humbled spirit cuffed his hands beneath his chin and stared off into a distance. Finally Daddy said “I just want to be like HIM.” “I want my life to be a reflection of our Heavenly Father.”
Brothers and sisters so often we’ve failed to recognize God’s goodness to us. How many times have we neglected to return and say thank You Lord? How often do we take HIM for granted? But, yet in spite of how we are; good, bad, ugly, upbeat, deadbeat, greedy or needy HE is still loves us and is there for us. HE still celebrates us with HIS love for us, regardless of us.
I’ve been a lot of places and experienced so many wonderful and inspiring things with my dad. Gardening was one of his favorite hobbies. He took time and taught me how to carefully plant each flower. Weeks later we both would sit back and see how they blossomed and bloomed into a beautiful garden that people all over town would come to admire. Out of all the things my daddy taught me and of all the hundreds flowers we planted I am most grateful that he taught me how to live my live as a reflection of our Heavenly Father.
Let us be like our Heavenly Father and still love and celebrate people not as they are but as we desire them to be. A small celebration could spark a flame in your earthly father and others as they see the Heavenly Father in you.
BISHOP WILLIE B. DUGAN