When I was young, people would see my mother and me in various places and each time, someone would say, “You all look just alike!” My mom’s reply was always the same, “Just wait until you see her father.” She was right! I looked like my father and still do. Our facial features are similar. Even our mannerisms are alike. But as an adult, I strive to look like my father in more than appearance.
My dad is a man who sees the best in almost everyone. He gives generously of his time, talents, and resources to anyone in need. Although his life may not have been a “crystal stair,” he has learned from his disappointments and apologized for his mistakes. He makes tough decisions and owns them. His tolerance for foolish behavior is limited, but the grace he shows is immeasurable. And although he doesn’t realize it, he looks more like Jesus to me than many people I know.
Let me explain…
1) My dad is compassionate.
Jesus showed compassion to the lost, the lame, the bereaved, the homeless, the hungry, the list goes on and on. My dad often sees people in need and makes it a priority to help. His help may be a word of encouragement, delivering a hot meal, changing a flat tire, driving miles to check on a loved one, or working with young boys who have lost their way. Many times, his compassion propels him to act before an utterance is ever imparted.
2) My dad is a servant.
Our family believes my father can’t sit still. He is always somewhere doing something for someone…family, friends, even complete strangers. And what does he expect in return? Nothing monetary. He says, “All I ask is when you are given an opportunity to help someone, you do it.” He doesn’t even want gifts for Christmas. He always says, “Why would you buy me a gift on someone else’s birthday?” Yet, he always gives abundantly!
3) My dad is very humble.
From living in a small home with too many siblings to count to being drafted into the military while in college, my dad has worked hard for everything he has. He has climbed poles to fix telephone lines, owned a profitable business, as well as worked as a corporate executive. But if you pass him on the street, you would simply think he is a well-dressed, kind gentleman who always wears a smile. People all around town know him, and in our old neighborhood, his nickname still resonates. When he hears it, he simply responds with laughter and takes a seat to reminisce. He doesn’t see himself as better than the people from his past nor does he deny the good times he had with them during his younger days. He transparently shares his stories with young men to deter them from making the same mistakes.
Dads, today I challenge you to live in such a way that when your little ones grow up, they will be proud to look like you on the outside and inside. The bank does not consider my dad a millionaire, but I do. His love, support, generosity, willingness to go above and beyond, and zeal for excellence make his value limitless. I pray your children have the same admiration for you that I have for my father.
Love you Daddy!