Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.
Ok, I am remembering growing up with my father. Here are some thoughts:
John Waynish. Very swaggery.
General Pattonish. Very STRICT.
Dennis Hopperish. Little bit on the edge. Like looking into the wonderful abyss of “I Might Snap Today. Do You Feel Lucky?”
Gruff. Not the cuddliest. But Hilarious. Sorta like a teddy bear, with a rifle.
(Yes, Dad, you’re reading this. I know. Don’t worry. It gets better.)
Here is also something:
Whenever I would get in trouble (This was often. Like a regular occurrence. I think I had it penciled in on the calendar for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Sundays optional), Dad would lecture. He would get in my face, and add the Vulcan Death Grip on my elbow to make sure I was listening. Did you know the nerve endings in your elbow really DO link directly to your eardrums? They DO.)
Oh, there was gnashing of teeth and wailing, I tell you.
But, I so remember this, no matter how awful the situation… no matter how much I wanted to squirm away or he wanted me to, as he so often said in total exasperation: “KNOCK THAT @#$% OFF!”
… He would always say this:
“Dana. No matter what you do, or how much trouble you get into (which will be a lot), I will always love you.”
“I love you. No matter what.”
No matter what.
I type that right now and smile. It’s a deep breath. A full sigh of relief. A drink of water when you are so very thirsty. No matter what. I was safe in his universe. I was loved. I am loved.
Seriously. I could go off the deep end, make fun of Fox News, get a huge tattoo, leave my dog at his house for house sitting*, and even (gasp) put a Democrat’s bumper sticker on my car.
I could even relapse. And he would love me.
(And no, don’t worry dad. This post is not some sort of roundabout way of telling you I have done so. The only relapse I have had lately is with my hardcore addiction to Candycorn pumpkins. Halloween crack, I tell you. I can’t quit them.)
My dad probably had NO idea how he was teaching me the most important lesson I am still learning about Christ. It’s been some forty years, and I still hear him say,
“No matter what.”
Thank you for helping me see my Lord as a Father who loves, no matter what.
Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the father I needed. Just the right one for me. And for helping me to see, through him, how you love completely, recklessly, wisely, and all OVER us.
Isn’t that sweet?
*Ok, I gotta tell the dog story… I left my beloved, neurotic, rather nutball dog, Norman, at mom and dad’s while I went off to a baby shower. I was gone for two hours. TWO. Norman, evidently, didn’t like that (mom and dad were gone too.)
Norman ate their door.
Like, the whole door.
He ate it.
Why? Who the heck knows. He’s a dog. And he never even showed any tummy distress. Lived to see another six years. With a door INSIDE him. And my dad also LET him live. Amazing. Cuz I really figured dad would have to go all Old Yeller on Norman for this little escapade.
Never really gonna live that one down.