Sunday, October 25, 2015

Father, Hear Thy Childrens' Call

Cleaning out a closet five years ago, I found a collection of sermons my dad preached when I was a kid. I also found a number of pictures of Dad- some as a child, some with his parents, some with us. Kids need a father and I feel for the ones that don't have a dad like we were blessed with. The following is about the most important guy in many peoples' lives. It is from June 17, 2007, the last Father's Day of my dad's life. In the picture above, Dave and I are with Mom and Dad at it appears they are singing, which is appropriate for this entry. At the bottom,I have reprinted the hymn this entry was named for which sadly, is rarely sung anymore.

I saw him again this morning. Almost every Sunday on my way to worship, I see the same man within a block of the same place at approximately 8:50 AM. He is amazingly consistent, wearing a blue T-shirt and walking his little dog between Fondren Avenue and Braesridge Drive on the first day of the week. What really sets him apart for me is that he is an older version of John Loomis, a member of my church. Add twenty-plus years and you have a dead-ringer, almost like one of those age progressions. He looks so much like an aging John that I inquired at worship if the man might be his dad. John told me his father had passed away several years previously so it was only coincidental. I kidded John this morning I would ask the guy for a DNA sample to prove some sort of familial connection. John knows I was kidding....I think.

I've got a letter buried somewhere in my closet from Amy, a girl I taught years ago. A terrific student and young lady, she had endured considerable heartache in her formative years. Her father had deserted Amy and her mother. Another man stepped in and her mother re-married. She described her feelings for the two men in the letter. I don't have to dig out the old envelope: I remember clearly what she said.
"My biological father is not my father- he just helped make me. My step father was there when I grew up. He is my father."
Years have passed since I heard from Amy. Maybe she has had some reconciliation with her biological dad. I hope so, maybe giving her a chance to have some closure and grant forgiveness. I thought she was very astute in defining father. Shows like
Jerry Springer and Maury (Povich) have made a mockery of the term paternity. Amy was right. A father is a man who is there for you when you need him. Relation by chromosomes is optimal but, in the practical world, not always possible. If we have had a good father in our physical lives, we are blessed. Even if we haven't, we can be the child of the perfect Father, the One who will never forsake us and the One who won't leave us devastated by His death. 

"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2nd Corinthians 6:18)
What a promise! He doesn't limit the number of his descendants so there is plenty of room at the family table, especially on Father's Day. The invitation is always extended. You have been chosen!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Nobody ever asks a father how he manages to combine marriage and a career."
Sam Ewing 

God bless,
Luke 18:1 
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Father, Hear Thy Children's Call (Gower's Litany)

Music by J. H. Gower, words by T.B. Pollock

Father hear Thy children's call
Humbly at Thy feet we fall
Prodigals, confessing all
We beseech Thee, hear us

Christ, beneath Thy cross we blame
All our life of sin and shame
Penitent, we breathe Thy name
We beseech Thee, hear us

Sick, we come to Thee for cure
Guilty, seek Thy mercy sure
Evil, long to be made pure
We beseech Thee, hear us

Blind, we pray that we may see
Bound, we pray to be made free
Stained, we pray for sanctity
We beseech Thee, hear us

By Thy love that bids Thee spare
By the heav'n Thou dost prepare
By Thy promises to prayer
We beseech Thee, hear us

1 comment:

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Steve this is a wonderful story and glad that I came by here tonight. Strange though because I have been thinking strongly of my daddy lately and miss him so. I even put a picture of him just yesterday on my sidebar.
We were both blessed with having good parents.
My children were not so lucky their paternal dad lived on 30 minutes from us in Waller and after he left he never looked back so they never knew him. Years after he left I remarried and he raised my children and they called him dad then he after 25 years left us to for his high school sweetheart and the sadest part of this story is after the my kids adopted him heart and soul as their dad when he left he never looked back to them either. How cruel some men can be.
Thank goodness for our Heavenly Father who will never forsake us.
Take care