With Father's Day almost upon us, I would like to write a small tribute to one of my favorite dads.
Now, I could write a heap about my own dad. No one has had a better dad than I. He is King O' Dads -- a man who has unfailingly supported and cheered and loved me every step of my life. I have not left a footprint upon this earth that does not have the mark of his devotion upon it. He gave me wings and let me fly.
I could write volumes about the wonderful man I married, the father of our now and future children. He has been charged to love me as Christ loves the church -- that holy, sacrificial love nearly impossible to enact -- and he does a marvelous job of that. He loves his little girl, and my heart swells with gratitude to see them together. He gave me a nest where I can be safe.
The man I want to write about defies the bird metaphor. So, we're done with that.
One of my favorite people in all the world is my father-in-law, Mike.
Now, Mike and I have practically nothing in common. We've never shared a warm conversation over hot coffee. We've never compared notes on a book we've both read and enjoyed. We've never sat down and watched a movie together.
He thinks, I'm sure, that I am sort of a snob and rather spend-thrifty -- leading his son down a rose-strewn path of extravagance and away from those nose-to-the-grindstone Midwestern values. I think he's a gas; though, I cannot really relate to his interests or personality. He's about as opposite from my own treasured dad as can be; but he is beloved by me, nonetheless.
Mike has given me a gift so undeniably precious that I am forever in his debt. He has given me a husband who was raised by a father who cherished, respected, adored, protected, and delighted in his wife. By his example, he showed Jason what being a husband means -- in those real terms of sacrifice and love that too rarely are given more than lip-service. Because of Mike, I have a husband whose natural inclination is to cherish his wife.
It has been said that the greatest gift a man can give his children is to love their mother. And yet, there is much more at stake. The actions of parents have reverberations in eternity, as sins and sapience echo down through every subsequent generation. Because Mike loves Sheri well, I have a husband who loves me well. Because she had a father who loved her mother well, Sadie will (please God) choose a man who will love her well and show her children what that means. Should we have a son, he will have a model of a model of sacrificial love. These are the legacies that last.
So Mike -- lover of NASCAR and Wal-Mart -- is a gift, rightly treasured by his daughter-in-law -- lover of British literature and fine dining. What a man he raised! What a man I married! Blessed, blessed, undeservedly blessed am I! Thank you, Mike, and the happiest of Father's Days to you!