Friday, June 18, 2010

To Dad, With Love

Since Sunday is Father's Day, I'll join everyone else who may be writing on this topic right about now. My dad, Phil, is a retired Baptist minister. He preached in the same church for over 30 years. For those of you not familiar with the pastorate, that's an amazing accomplishment. Some denominations even require their pastors to change churches every couple of years. But, thankfully, Dad stayed right here, in this wonderful Indiana town where I grew up, for most of my life. We moved here when I was three, so this town, this church. is all I know.

When my first book was published, my dad told me how proud he was of me. He said I was the first person in his whole family to have a book published. But my accomplishment seems little next to what Dad did every Sunday of his life. And still does, if he's asked to fill in for other pastors. He spoke the true word of God to his parishioners. Actually in front of people. I didn't inherit the gene from him for public speaking. I'd rather have someone poke me in the eye. Repeatedly.

But even more than Dad preaching every Sunday, was what he did throughout the week. And I'm not talking about the many hours he put in visiting, counseling, and praying. I'm talking about writing. Yes, that's right. My dad is a writer. He took God's inspiration and wrote down the words in his heart. Words he knew would speak to anyone who listened. His sermons are so meaningful, and easy to follow, I could even glean something from them when I was very young. He comes up with some of the most humorous stories you'd ever hear. It's fun for me to check out the faces in the congregation of people who've never listened to a minister with a sense of humor. Some of them are stunned! Aren't men of God supposed to be stoic, dry, boring? No way! Dad is a craftsman with words. An artist of them, if you will.

Even though I didn't inherit his public speaking gene, I'm thankful I at least got some of his storytelling one. Without that gift from God, passed to me through my dad, I wouldn't be so fortunate as to be a published writer today.

Thanks Dad. I love you.

No comments: