Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Father's Day

I was having a difficult time concentrating in church Sunday evening.  Thomas has been leading us through the Westminster Confession of Faith, his Paulinian studies and understanding of grace enriching the wordy articles, bringing new meaning to a soul ever seeking to become better at seeing and living in The Big Picture (another story for another time).

It was Father's Day, always a distraction.  A child's memory saw the congregation from the family pew third from the back on the left side of the aisle facing the pulpit.  Daddy anchored the aisle, Mama sat at the opposite end, the five of us between them, scrubbed clean,  in starched and ironed clothes and spit shined shoes.

Baptism in the Presbyterian Church in America carries a charge to the congregation to raise a child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  We had many father-figures to look after us:  Matt Walley, Mr. Haddon, Sinkie McKay, Chris Graham, Pete Smith, Basil Basila, Evans Martin, H.E. McInnis, Ken McInnis, Sonny Rush, Uncle Sherman, George Cecil...  The charge isn't exclusive to Wednesdays and Sundays, it includes every moment of every day (and sleep if necessary).  I see their smiles, can hear them sing their favorite hymns, feel their encouragement, know the genuine love given to a child of their own in the scope of the universal family through Christ.
There's Daddy in the background.  I have no clue why he was toting 
a gun.  See the hat?  And the khakis?

The memory of our own daddy fills my heart;  the way his hat was always cocked to one side, bright flashing brown eyes, his small frame with the quick step constantly outfitted in khakis (probably why I despise ironing - he insisted on heavy starch), the smell of his shaving soap, the sound of him working down in the shop usually singing "I'm an old cowhand (from the Rio Grande)."

I miss him - especially as Father's Day winds down.  Did you have an excellent day with your daddy?  I'd like to think y'all have called them or fixed their favorite meals and desserts or gave them another tie or pair of houseshoes or Old Spice to let them know they were thought about and appreciated.  I pray that as you both get older you become more and more dear to each other.  And when the time comes to face Father's Day without them, I hope you've the fullness of memory to get through it like I've just done; wrapped in a hug from the past.

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