Memory 1: Silent communication in church
When I sat beside my dad in church, he would squeeze my hand twice which meant he was asking, “Love me?”
I would return two squeezes to say, “Uh huh.”
His next two squeezes translated, “How much?”
I would squeeze his hand with my two as hard as I could to express my love for the man I most admired. Then, I’d re-start the silent conversation by asking him the first question in the sequence. I’d stifle giggles when he’d wrap my hand in his and apply gentle pressure to indicate how much he loved me.Those sweet exchanges ended with my dad looking down at me with a big smile. The memory wraps me in warmth and love.
Sadly, positive expressions of a father’s love are not treasured memories for everyone. Even at best, the love of earthly fathers is far from perfect, but God, the heavenly Father, sends perfect love messages to us in John 3:16 and many other parts of the Bible.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. —John 3:16 (ESV)
Memory 2: An oops moment on the lake
My second memory involves a fly fishing lesson. It was a nice sunny afternoon to enjoy time alone with my dad. I was maybe ten and seated in the front of a small fishing boat holding a fly rod and reel. As an expert angler, Daddy was sitting behind me paddling around the lake as he instructed me. My fly fishing was improving, but I longed to make the fly land gently on the water near the grassy bank as my dad did.
I drew the rod back with grace, but when I tried to cast it forward, the line didn’t come. I tried again. You guessed it. I had snagged my poor dad’s scalp with the hook of the artificial bait! After hollering, “Stop!” and quickly grabbing the green nylon line to prevent my continued pulling, Daddy dislodged the source of his pain, absorbed blood with his handkerchief, nodded to assure me he was okay, and paddled the boat quickly back across the lake.
He wasn’t always that patient, but knowing how badly I felt, he acted as if it were a minor mishap. Mishap? Yes. Painful? You bet! He probably took my brother on the next fishing excursion.
Although earthly fathers are sometimes patient and sometimes quick-tempered, God is patient with us. He longs for everyone to accept His Son Jesus, have abundant life now, and live with Him eternally.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
–2 Peter 3:9 (ESV)
Please share happy moments you shared with your dad or another father figure.
How do you think God relates to us as a loving Father?