Recently I read this story recounted by Gordon Dalby. He told of a nun who worked in a men’s prison. One year she brought some Mother’s Day cards to distribute to any prisoners who were interested in sending cards to their moms. Word spread, and requests for cards began pouring in. The demand was so great that she reached out to Hallmark to see if they’d be willing to donate extra boxes of cards. That first year the warden drew numbers from a lottery to determine which inmates would receive the limited number of Mother’s Day cards. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, the nun got to work securing sufficient boxes of Father’s Day cards, and the warden announced a free giveaway to all who were interested in sending a Father’s Day card. Not a single prisoner asked for one. What are we to make of this story? What has happened to the God-intended bond between fathers and their children?
As a 72 year old man I can look back on my life and see so many good things, so many blessings from God that have made a huge difference in my life. Of all the positive forces in my life I think the most powerful was my Dad. It is interesting as I think about that statement because my Dad had a long list of negative qualities that should have resulted in just the opposite result. Dad wasn’t a spiritual influence in my life at all. He never read the Bible, I am not sure he owned one, went to church sporatically at best, and I never once heard him pray. Dad became a believer just weeks before the end of his life and I had the joy of baptizing him. All of my spiritual influence came from my Mom, because of her I never missed church, Sunday School, Bible camp, vacation Bible school, or Youth group. Dad was a very hard worker and the work ethic that I have had all of my life is probably my Dad’s greatest gift to me. He also was always very nice to people and treated everyone with great respect, and any chance he got, to help someone out, he took. The key gift he gave to me was his time. It wasn’t what you would call typical father/son activities, it was mostly just working together on the farm. He didn’t talk much but he would say little things all during the day that were like darts, they would stick in me and I have never forgotten most of them. I don’t know of anybody who tells more stories about their Dad than I do. It is my way of honoring him. I have told some of them so many times and every time I tell the story, it grows just a little bit, until they are almost ”tall tales.” I know that, and most who have heard them know that, but I don’t care, in my mind he is a super hero.