Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dad's Hands

Yep, that's me standing on my father's hands. I was about six months old and he had just turned twenty. That was pretty much our relationship for the rest of my life--his support so I could stand on my own.

He's eighty-three now. Still doing some interim pastoring for small churches in between ministers or for pastors who go on vacation. Still driving. Mowing the lawn. Taking care of my stepmother. He can outwalk me on my best day...and when I could still run, he always won our races down the block.

I never had any questions about where he stood on questions of right or wrong. And I always KNEW I was expected to do my best. That was never a point of discussion.

Some kids never see their fathers actually work, but I never saw my dad sit down. He was always doing something...his hands were never idle.

He plays half a dozen instruments he taught himself. And sings.

When I was growing up he worked at dozens of different jobs from picking cotton and pumping gas to working in a mine and delivering milk. No job was too insignificant or menial.

He rides horses. He milks cows. We've raised turkeys and chickens, sheared sheep, slopped pigs. We've lived in the country and lived in the city.

I grew up in churches that ministered to a broad range of people from the wealthy to the stone cold broke. My dad treated everyone the same. If someone needed help, then he was first in line to offer a hand.

Today he's about 1800 miles away, but I still honor him on this sunny Father's Day.