Words of Hope: Worthy of Imitation
My good friend was in town on a recruiting trip, and he stayed with Shann and me. He loved Dad and considered Dad in many ways a second father. He lost his mom, and we discussed how the grief is profound not only because the person is gone, but in his situation, there is the existential loss of never having a real relationship with his mother. My relationship with my Dad has been a joy for my life. He was never lazy with me as a parent. He listened, asked forgiveness, often asked for ways to improve, and told me every day how much he loved me and believed in me. I think of how incredibly blessed I was to have a Father like him.
My friend’s relationship with his mom never lived up to what we all imagine for quality relationships. How many children never hear the words I love you from their parents one time, let alone every day? How many children would experience healing if their mom or dad would say, “I didn’t lovingly interact with you right now. What was that like for you? I want to ask forgiveness for speaking with a rude tone of voice, for acting like I am right, for trying to dominate you in conversation, and for how it made you feel insignificant, incompetent, and unloved.” My Dad mastered this skill. He was not a perfect dad. But he was incredible at asking forgiveness, changing, and loving deeply. Truly, he was worthy of imitation, and I hope many parents will learn to follow his example. I cannot thank him enough for this powerful legacy.
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” – Matthew 5:23-24