A Moment To Praise 6.22.20
Joyce Lochinger, Gravel Hill Worship Leader
Father’s Day is happening as I write this devotion, so I thought I’d share some memories of my dad with all of you. I was born the fourth child to my parents in 1964. My parents had started a family in 1952 with my sister. Two brothers followed in 1954 and 1957. You can do the math to figure out that they had children in their home for a long period of time.
At the time of my birth, my mother decided that we all needed to find a church to attend. Fortunately for us, there was a small, friendly Mennonite church basically in our backyard. Off my mom walked with me and my three siblings in tow, and my dad opted to stay home. As the story goes, about halfway through the service, I pitched a royal fit! I was a baby after all! My mom told my 12-year-old older sister to stay in the pew with the boys while she took me to the nursery. My mom started walking out of the sanctuary, and just like little ducklings following their mother, my brothers and sister marched right out after her.
At that point, my mom walked us right out the back door and down the hill to our house. That’s when my dad got the news…and this is a direct quote from my mom who just retold this story to me, “if you want these kids to go to church, you’re getting up and going with us next week!” To his credit, he went to church that next week and from that point on until he passed away. He was going to be a churchgoing, Godly man.
A Moment To Praise 6.22.20 in Scripture
He must have read (or more than likely my mom pointed out to him) the following scripture:
I read this article today, and I think it’s a perfect definition of the above scripture.
DADS NEED TO EXEMPLIFY A GOOD LIFE. SCRIPTURE TEACHES THAT WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE LIVE IS LIKE A “LETTER FROM GOD.” OUR KIDS READ THAT LETTER, EVERY DAY. (http://www.allprodad.com/10-things-scripture-says-about-being-a-father/)
Dads: what are kids reading in your life letter? Not only dads, but moms too. We have a heavenly calling to live in such a way that our children are able to learn and see the attributes of God, our eternal father, in us.
My dad was far from perfect, but he tried to live into the example of a who good man should be. He watched his language around us as kids. In fact, I never once heard coarse or foul language come from my dad’s mouth, not even in anger or frustration. He was a hard worker, as if working for the Lord. He never complained about it, even though he had a very difficult manual labor job and certainly wasn’t overpaid for his efforts. I never saw him drink or become drunk, and his only overindulgences were in my mom’s amazing cooking and baking. Other than that, I never saw him give in to other vices.
Now, I know all of these things I have listed do not automatically make a godly man. A good man, but not necessarily a godly one. But, here’s the kicker. I can remember my dad (and my mother) kneeling every night at their bed praying to God, thanking Him and asking for His mercy on all of us every night of my life while I lived at home. What an impact on a daughter’s life to see this strong, natural protector submit himself to the Almighty in prayer. It’s a treasured memory.
I also remember the ways in which my dad showed us love. He loved my mom and treated her with respect and a good dose of playful, silly behavior. I never heard an argument or a moment of anger leveled at her. The same went for us kids, too. He gave us a lot of love, care, and forgiveness. Believe me, some of the kids in my family were a little ornery! Not me, of course. However, we all benefited from his patience and forgiveness.
Finally, he cared for the community in many ways. The most important one that stands out to me occurred when he saw a little child he didn’t even know fall from the top of metal monkey bars to the ground. The resulting blood and cracked head didn’t deter my dad. He pulled out his trusty cloth hanky, wrapped it around the little boy’s head, and ran carrying the little boy to the nearest house to call an ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, he walked away. He did not expect a thank you, and shying away from any recognition, he took all of us to the Dairy Queen to minimize the trauma of seeing what we had.
As I think of my dad’s life letter, I think my earthly daddy wrote a good one. One in which he tried to closely imitate and copy the letter that was first written for all of us by my Heavenly Father. On this Father’s Day as I write this, I miss this lovely man who left us for his eternal home almost 18 years ago. However, two things I know about him are these. First, he is waiting for his family to come to him one day. He expects and looks for us to follow him there. Secondly, even though he loved us deeply, he would never want to leave the heavenly realms for this crazy world. He has earned his reward.
Here is the bottom line to all of you dads and moms. Write your life letter in permanent marker on your kids’ hearts and anyone else with whom you might come into contact with. It’s the most important thing you could ever do. I am living proof and a thankful child of a good, good father and a Good Good (heavenly) Father.
A Moment To Praise 6.22.20 in Song