To understand my Dad, you must know something about his character. His mental and moral qualities were very high on the scale of what defines good character. He was friendly and well put together, organized and meticulous in all things. Routine was important to him and he went about his with abandon.
On Saturday’s he mowed the lawn, washed both cars, and tackled any repairs or maintenance that were required. By afternoon he was using the nozzle on the garden hose to spray down the driveway, sidewalk, and gutter. It was an impeccable result.
In my mind’s eye, when I consider Dad’s Saturdays, I immediately conjure up his six-foot, four-inch frame of 190 pounds, wearing a worn out button down sport shirt and ill-fitting jeans. But the picture doesn’t stop there. All of this was topped off with a pair of knee high rubber boots with his pant legs tucked in. Priceless. That was my Dad.
Dad was a softy at heart, compassionate, and easily brought to tears in times of heartache. On the other end of the spectrum, Dad was a jokester. He was witty and clever with a hundred or more songs, stories, and witticisms that always made us laugh. We took family vacations across the country most summers, singing Home, Home on the Range in four-part harmony. That was how we were, goofy and without shame.
One of the many things Dad was meticulous about were the condition of his shoes. He wore a suit six days a week and his Wing Tips were always polished. I watched him many times as he got out the little short bristled brush to apply a waxy compound to the shoes, and then remove it with a special, soft rag, leaving a high shine that made them look like new.
Dad loved music, and after a long work day he would sometimes turn on one of his favorite albums and ask me to dance. I learned to slow dance with my feet on the top of his shoes as he glided me around the living room. I can still feel the slippery feel of his leather shoes beneath my stocking feet. Barely to his shoulder, he would snug me tightly into his arms, as I learned the art of allowing him to lead. Those are precious and fond memories. In fact, since he’s been gone for almost 10 years now, I’ve awakened from a dream with tears streaming down my face, as I was once again dancing on Daddy’s shoes.
When Dad passed on to his eternal home, one of the greatest loses that I felt acutely was that Dad had always been my cover. I grieved his loss but I also experienced the fear of not knowing who would take up the mantle and be my cover. There are so many things I could tell you about my daddy, but the one that is the most profound was his love and caring for me, the safety and security he provided, and the wisdom that he offered.
Since Dad’s passing I have found my way into a deeper and more intimate relationship with my God. I have found His character to be nothing less than Dad’s was, and even more. In my search to dig in and seek Him, I have found Him trustworthy and loving, and always willing to listen and guide me. He is my Abba Father. He is my cover. He whispers to me when I allow myself to be still and wait on Him. I’m learning to let Him lead.
One of the best things I have learned is to sit in His presence and be silent. In those moments, I am in awe of His character and amazed at who He is. In His presence, I don’t struggle to say anything. I don’t feel the need to remind Him of all the things I need and all the concerns of my day, because He knows my heart and my struggles before I am aware of them. Abba wraps me in His arms, and in the stillness, we dance.
I challenge you to go deeper with Him. Ask Him if He’ll dance with you. I bet He will.