In the Bible there are times when the people of Israel would set up stones to remember certain events. In other words when they would see the stone it would remind of what God had done for them in their midst. These stones were pointers to be thankful and give all glory to the LORD for his amazing works.
My dad in many ways is my stone. Often when I see my dad the life he has now, and the way he loves my mother and his family I see pictures of the love of my Heavenly Father. My dad is not perfect he has like all of us things to overcome, things that looking back now are not "highlights" of his life, but what he displays is unconditional love and care for his family. My dad is also a stone that shows me what it means to be a man. Yes he is tough and I bet could beat up your dad, but more than that. He started his career as a garbage man, and not like the garbage man of today that sits in the truck and lets the vehicle do all the work. My dad would have to get out on cold winter days and hot summer afternoons and go into dumpsters and pick up and haul garbage. Yes he actually used his hands for more than typing and texting, I know crazy huh! He did this to support his family and raise his daughter. He worked his way up the company ladder and retired the head of a whole division of the City of Albuquerque. He did this by hard work, and not by sucking up to the bosses or playing office politics. My father also coached my soccer teams, and maybe we will bring him out of retirement for Jordyn's future soccer adventures. My dad was actually willing to invest in my life as a father, not just work 70 hours a week and buy me stuff to compensate, he actually showed me the way to invest and sacrifice for your child. He was a protector of us, willing to stand between danger and his family with out thinking through the risk to himself.
I do not want to paint this picture perfect dad, he was not perfect. He had issues in life he had to deal with, and God has given the grace to do so. In fact he now supports and mentors those that are dealing with the same stuff he once did.
The biggest thing about my father is his faith. He now is a Christian that seems to be walking by faith everyday that God will provide and ultimately that God is His only true and everlasting Joy through everything. To say that Christ has transformed my father's life is a huge understatement.
As I was a prodigal son for many years, off and partying and dishonoring him. He was always running to meet me when I came back. My dad is the embodiment of unconditional love and forgiveness, my father is my stone that points to my True, Eternal, Father in Heaven. He never once locked the door and left me out in the street, although I deserved that many many times.
He now loves my daughter in a way that I think a grandfather should. My daughter loves her pappy so much, not a day goes by she does not ask about him. It is not because he buys her things, but because he is there for her, he is willing to get on the ground and wrestle, he is willing to read a book to her, although she prefers nana for that. Basically he invests and cares for her the same he did for me and my sister. That is rare these days.
I praise God for my old man, and pray I can be half the father he has been!
Today is my dad's 57th birthday, so happy birthday old man!!!!