When I was a little girl and got a stomach ache (which seemed to happen a lot), my dad would say, “Do you want me to put my ‘magic hand’ on your belly and make it feel better?” He’d then take me onto his lap and he’d put his (what seemed like at the time) giant hand on my scrawny belly. (I was a skinny little thing.) I’d lay my head on his shoulder and without fail, my stomach ache would subside. I remember thinking that my dad really did have a MAGIC hand because it worked. Every time. I suppose it had something to do with the warmth from his hand, or the total security I felt in his arms, but to 6 or 7 year old me, it was total magic.
I struck gold when it came to dads. Not only was my own dad one of the best, but somehow I’ve found myself surrounded with some other treasures as well. I realize what a gift this is as I can count on almost all ten fingers people close to me that had not-so-great or absent fathers. When I hear someone talk about her dad and the less than stellar example that was set, I can’t even quite imagine.
Let me tell you just a little bit about 4 great dads.
1.) My own dear dad. He was gentle, kind, funny, a great dancer. He loved to whistle and he was whistling or humming or singing almost all of the time. There was some swearing involved, though, when he tried to fix something and it wouldn’t work. He loved to fish and “hunt the buck” (as in deer, not dollars). He absolutely adored kids and kids loved him back. I could write about him for days. I wish I could say the darling little girl in this photo is me, but it’s not. This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad, though. You see that sweet look in Alia’s eyes, looking up at him? That’s how I felt for the first 18 years of my life. Lucky me.
2.) My own dear husband. And I hit the jackpot again. I’d say Kevin was a very different father than my dad, but still, one of the best. My dad was not the kind that struck fear into us as kids by a glance or sharp word. Ummmm, Kevin? Scary. Not in a bad way (well, too bad) but he definitely has that intimidation factor working for him. (Voted “Most Intimidating Dad” by one of our kid’s friends.) He works harder than anyone I know and has always provided for his family. He’s our rock. He doesn’t often show his more tender side, but those three little girls that call him “Grandpa” have gotten him to soften up a bit.
3.) My own dear brother. So my brother is pretty much a carbon copy of my dad. He has that same gentle, kind manner. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him raise his voice, but I live in Florida and he lives in Wisconsin, so it’s possible that may occur and I’m not privy to it. He has been the most loving father to his daughter Libby . . . oh my goodness, there’s no doubting he is “crazy about her.” And she about him. Lucky her.
4.) Last but not least, my own dear son-in-law. The newest dad of the bunch. Not even into his thirties yet, he’s the dad of three girls. THREE GIRLS! Jared lavishes his girls with love. And can strike “awe” into them when they’re acting up. Best of all, he loves their mom with all of his heart. I just love this picture of him hauling all three girls off to church, not an easy undertaking. (Maria is there, too, I imagine she’s taking the picture.) And this happens every single Sunday. Way to lead, dad.
Because of these devoted dads, it’s been fairly easy for me to understand how much my heavenly Father loves me. I know so many others that can’t begin to imagine that there is some “so-called” God that loves them since their own earthly father didn’t do such a hot job. If that’s you, I wish I could share my dads with you. But we do share a good, good Father that loves us – whether your dad here was a good one like mine, or not that great, or awful, or not around. God is better than the best of the best earthly dads. The song “Good, Good Father” by Chris Tomlin says . . . “love so undeniable and peace so unexplainable.” Yup. That’s our Dad.
Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day on June 19!