In the middle of graduation parties, wedding anniversaries, and the general celebrations following the end of a school year, I wonder if Father's Day gets its due.
Father's Day was last weekend, and my father (Rev. Thomas Evans)passed in April of 2002, so I no longer attach a lot of significance to the rituals of "the day", but I do use this time to reflect on my relationship with my father, and why it continues to be one of the best things in my life.
I am one of those people who decorate gravesites--not because I believe the deceased are necessarily looking down and smiling (but maybe they are)--but because I think of a gravesite as a sacred place, a place from which those who followed Christ will be called at the resurrection of the godly. It doesn't matter to me if that "rising" happens in five years, or five hundred years. It will come.
I am grateful for having had a godly--not a perfect--father. The general orientation of someone's life makes a huge difference in how they prioritize things. Because my father was a godly man in his earthly life, he took time to talk with me, listen to me, value my opinions, and test my opinions when they needed testing.
Because he was a godly man, he corrected me when I needed correction and encouraged me when I needed encouragement. He planned ahead for my needs, took good care of our family, stayed married to my mother, and modeled a Christian life while many other men of his time and place made different choices.
After a long illness, my father died slowly in hospice. While I will never know all of his thoughts as his time here ended, I watched him die with grace and peace, and with encouraging words for those of us who would remain after he was gone. I hope I can do as well when my time comes.
My gratitude for his life well lived continues to inspire me in happy times and in difficult moments. The gift of a godly father continues.