Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fatherless

For the first time in all my forty years of life, I am fatherless. Dad died the way he lived ... quietly. Mom had prayed over him. He had summoned the last of his strength to tell her, "I love you," one last time and a few hours later he was gone. He slipped away in his sleep. At 6:44 Friday morning, I got the news.

For as old as I am and for as sick as he was, this shouldn't be a shock. But my mind still has difficulty grasping a reality I do not want to accept. Death has such a finality about it. There are things I still want to tell him. I just want to tell him the simple things, like how my day went. I want to share my joys and sorrows, my triumphs and disasters. I still want to hear him say, "I love you, sweetheart!" or "You did a good job!" There are events I still want to share with him. I want to introduce him to the newest additions to our family that will be coming, give him a tour of our new house once we're all moved in, and hear his words of approval. There is advice I still want to glean from him as I grow my business, especially since he had such a keen business mind. But that window of opportunity, called life, is now over. He is gone. And I am ... fatherless.

"For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing ... Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun." Ecclesiastes 9:5,6.


Thankfully, the Bible is clear that he is not gone forever. It'll just be a little while. Dad has no more discomfort. He has no knowledge of our sorrow. He is simply asleep.

"[Jesus] went on to tell them, 'Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.' His disciples replied, 'Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.' Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, 'Lazarus is dead.'" John 11:11-14.


Someday, when Jesus returns to this world in all His heavenly glory, He will shout. His majestic voice will pierce through the tomb and my dad will rise from the dead. He will come out of his dusty grave healthy and vibrant with life. His congestive heart failure will be replaced with a heart that will beat throughout eternity. His stiff, weak legs that used to merely shuffle, will leap and bound with new energy. His cancer will be erased. And I will be fatherless no more.

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever."
I Thessalonians 4:16-17.


Today, I mourn. I weep at the memory of the father I loved and lost. But soon, I will dry my tears and pick myself up and work again. I am not the only fatherless child on this earth and there are younger ones who need my help. Only now I can understand a little more of what it truly means to be ... fatherless.

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I miss you, Dad.