The sound of the doorbell startled me. When I opened the door the man asked for Wayne. Before I answered him, the man asked if I knew him. He had a familiar smile but his face was aged and different. And the voice……..the voice was familiar too. For the next few seconds my brain tried to match a name with the kind face and his recognizable voice.
Before I could make the match he told me who he was. I was glad to see him and especially happy that he came by to see Daddy.
Daddy would have been thrilled for the visit. The man was shocked and saddened to hear that Wayne, my dad, had passed away. After he gave his condolences, we caught up.
It was a strange mixture of emotions…….remembering what was, learning what is, and trying to summarize thirty years of life in thirty minutes or so.
Then he asked the most amazing question. “Did your dad ever stop drinking?”
Oh how I wish he’d have known the man that Dad had become. The gracious man that cared for Mom so tenderly while working his job from his home office. The man that overflowed with generosity…….with his time and resources. The man that forgave so easily because he knew he’d been forgiven so much.
Daddy stopped drinking in 1990 or so. Never took another drink.
He quit to save his life.
His quitting saved our lives.
And who knows what else his quitting did. Whatever it did, it was good and right.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10
I originally posted this last Father’s Day. I wanted to honor the man I called Daddy. Last year was my first Father’s Day without my daddy. He died June 3rd, 2014 and some days I still can’t believe it. Everyday I’m more and more thankful for him.
I re-post this to honor him again. I miss him very much and feel abundantly blessed to have had him as my father.
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
Daddy struggled with an addiction to alcohol most of his life. Twenty four years ago he refused to let alcohol beat him so he beat it. With God’s help, he never took another drink. Daddy talked often of God’s grace because he lived God’s grace. He knew that apart from God he was nothing. God took a rough, stubborn, broken man struggling to make anything of his life and changed him into a man living the promised new life. Daddy was thankful that God saved him and lived his life showing it. Daddy was becoming what God had already made him. Whole and holy. Learning how to love and live. He continually asked God to reveal the deep things of his heart. If he realized there was unforgiveness in his heart, Daddy forgave. If an unkind word was spoken, Daddy apologized.
Daddy wasn’t perfect, he was saved.
The last two years are a beautiful picture of Daddy’s life. He tenderly cared for Mom while working his full-time job from home. And he loved it! It was his joy to care for her. God made the rough tender. God made the stubborn teachable. God made the broken whole and healed. And I got to watch!
I wish I could sit with him one more time on the front porch and have one more conversation. One more “hey darling”. One more hug. One more “I love you.” One more story. One more bit of advice. I miss Daddy. But I rejoice knowing he is with his Father – the One who reached down and loved him, saved him, and healed him. I rejoice because I am blessed to call him Daddy.
Thank you Father for loving Daddy, for letting me be his daughter and allowing me to watch grace in action.
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Colossians 3:10 (NLT)