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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

This is My Father's World

This a very personal post from me today. I won't wax eloquent about religion or the religious practices at St. Marks. But I need to write today and this is just pouring out of me, so if it's not to your liking, please read on to something else, I won't mind.

The hymn title above was in my head this morning. I never know why particular hymns suddenly inhabit my brain, but today of all days, I think I know why this one was there. Today is the 25th anniversary of my father's death. I remember parts of the day sometimes with such clarity. Other times, I search to try to remember things about him. I honored my father as the bible tells us. He was a good man, flawed as everyone else, but good in his heart. He could fix just about anything. He loved words so much he did crossword puzzles in ink. He was very intelligent even though he never attended college. Not that college is the mark of intelligence, as I'm sure you'll agree. But his knowledge was wide ranging and far reaching. He liked to laugh. He like to read.  He was happy with a Budweiser beer in one hand and cigarette in the other. He was a dad like all the other dads I knew. Not overly anything--loud or caustic or embarrassing. Of course, we're all embarrassed of our fathers at some point, mostly as teenagers. But I was proud he could do so many things and loved his intelligence and humor.

Our Father in heaven...I'm not afraid of saying that. Some people had awful fathers. Mean guys, bad guys. I get it. I really do. But my father was not a bad thing to be for me. And when we talk about our Father in heaven, it's a good association for me. "This is my Father's world, I rest me in the thought..." My heavenly Father is good as far as I'm concerned because my own Father was good. Loving and caring, a little bit hard to fathom sometimes. Both Fathers are good images for me. I would hope the same would be true for everyone, but I know it's not. So when Father's Day rolls around, he won't be here again, but my heavenly Father will be (as he is on all other days) and he still "speaks to me everywhere."

And I thank my heavenly Father for the Father on earth who was with me for just a little while.