Well, Sunday, as you know, was Father’s Day. For months now, Kristin has been telling me that the day was coming when she wanted to take over the blog and write an article for me. So it makes sense that it happened on Father’s Day. And don’t think that I didn’t appreciate it. After hundreds of posts, though, it was kind of strange to get a notice in my own inbox that something had been posted to TBTB.
And for those of you who have been reading since near the beginning, I wrote a post about a song that Kristin had written when she was very young; and we all sang it at her wedding. It started, “We love you Kristin, oh yes we do….” So I can’t help but think that she was re-purposing her favorite song in the title of the blog last night.
Anyway, it was a great day. Andrew and his family, Kristin, Janet and I all went out to brunch and then did a little shopping in the Clay Terrace Shopping Mall. And then the kids, and Janet, surprised me with a new briefcase – one I have had my eye on for quite some time. Now I don’t need another case, and that’s the beauty of a gift – it’s usually something that you wouldn’t get for yourself – at least that’s the way I always look at it. Even Jill got in the act, all the way from Oklahoma, and that’s a blessing. So this year, my gift was from all the members of my nuclear family, and that’s pretty special.
Another thing I thought about yesterday, and you mothers may not agree with me, but Father’s Day doesn’t have nearly the impact that Mother’s Day has – and I agree with that. Mother’s Day is tremendously important and I have come to expect that Father’s Day is something of an ordinary day, except when your kids and wife show their appreciation. And mind you – this is not sour grapes! Everyone wishes Mom a Happy Mother’s Day – usually churches hand out flowers, there are big buffets at the private country clubs, and huge selections of cards at Hallmark and other places where you buy cards to reflect the sentiment of the day.
But those of us who are Dads usually don’t get the same treatment in the world at large. We enjoy being the center of attention with the family, but it pretty much ends there. So I was expecting the same sort of treatment yesterday, but boy, was I wrong. For starters, the hostess at the restaurant we went to for brunch told me, “Happy Father’s Day” as I was still walking through the door. I kind of expected it, because the place was jammed and there was an hour wait for a table.
But after lunch, the store we went to had a 20% off sale for Dads and when the kids said they wanted to buy something for me, the owner added another 10% off. What a deal! Then on to my favorite store, Orvis, and they greeted me the same way, “HFD”. We then headed to the grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store, gas station and finally, home. Each place, including the gas station, seemed unusually friendly and without exception, I was greeted everywhere we went. It was the first time in my life that I felt so appreciated on Father’s Day. In fact, after the first or second stop, I even told Janet that the whole thing was a little unexpected, and sure enough, even she noticed the difference from prior years.
In all honesty, I can’t tell you why it was different, but I really did feel good. And frankly, it gave me a little more insight as to how others must feel when we go out of our way to wish them a good day, or to let them know that we appreciate them. I have renewed my commitment to make sure others “feel the love” as well. It’s not a bad lesson for all of us to remember.
The verse tonight reflects the importance of caring for one another – and it doesn’t take much effort at all. Just like Kristin’s message to me last evening, it’s nice to know that I am loved by all the kids, but still nice to hear. And while I hear this message every day from Janet, sometimes we aren’t so quick to let others know that we care about them.
Tonight, I am reminded of a verse from 1 John. When you attend seminary and study Greek, the first book you translate into English is 1 John. It’s very easy to translate this particular book, if you can say that about any foreign language, and John wrote in a style that could be very simple, or studied at a much deeper theological level. For tonight, let’s forget about all the heavy stuff and just let the message of John wash over you. Take it at face value – no grand agenda. He tells us, in 1 John 3:11, “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” That’s it – nothing complex. And from what beginning is John talking about?
From when Christ came to earth in human form and pronounced His message of love. My encouragement this evening is to affirm that you are loved, and I hope that people let you know that. And God loves you, too – more than any human. My prayer is that you will take a little time to make sure the people you run across each day “feel the love” as well. Because it’s very important that we love one another well. The world would be a lonely place with caring. Grace and peace…