the first man i ever loved is now with my Savior. i think about him every day. it still seems very surreal, this grief. so new. today there will be no phone call to wish him a happy birthday. though today must be his happiest of birthdays. the assurance of heaven is real and i know we’ll celebrate again. eternity.
he taught me so much while he walked this earth. to love Jesus and to love people. he was so selfless and kind and gentle. not perfect, of course, but one of the closest examples of our Savior on this earth. he loved Jesus, his wife, his children, and his grand-children so fiercely. i didn’t realize while growing up how unusually different my dad was. i didn’t know that not everyone could claim what i could about this man, my father. he never yelled, was never quick to judge, he was slow to anger, listened more than he spoke, loved unconditionally. he sang and played the guitar better than james taylor. he was a fighter to the end.
he was not all of these things on his own. he was all of these things because of another man. because of the best man. the perfect man. because of Jesus. yes, the only reason my dad was anything good was because he was saved by grace through faith in the God-man, Jesus.
he is the living proof that Jesus can be seen in a human life. my dad was a sinner just like all of us. he was a sinner covered by the blood of the one who has no sin. a sinner redeemed by a loving Savior. a sinner who loved because Jesus loved him first. a sinner who wanted others to have, know, love; Jesus.
today is a day of grief, but also a day of celebration. we celebrate how he loved. we celebrate that we got to call him husband, dad, papa, friend. we celebrate that his life pointed to the Life-giver. we celebrate the hope that we have because of the cross. we celebrate because of heaven. we celebrate because of Jesus.