I can still remember that morning pretty clearly.
I was riding with my dad in our family’s old green station wagon. It was just the two of us and we had just finished a daddy/daughter breakfast date at McDonald’s. I had ordered the sausage biscuit and my dad ordered the hotcakes like always.
I was five or six years old.
On our way to the church office after breakfast we sang songs like, “Old MacDonald” and “This is the Day” together. I loved to sing.
After singing, I remember my dad explaining to me why Jesus died on the cross. He told me that Jesus died because I was a sinner and my sin deserved to be punished.
He told me that Jesus took my “spanking” by dying for me.
It wasn’t the first time that my dad had told me about Jesus. From as early as I can remember my parents were talking to me about God.
All I knew was that I wanted to know Jesus. I wanted Him to be my friend. My dad told me that Jesus wanted to be my friend too and that’s why He came to earth and died.
All I had to do was believe in Jesus.
I don’t know why that particular memory of us driving to the church office is seared in my mind. Maybe it’s because we ate at McDonald’s, maybe it’s because we were singing, but I think it’s probably because God was working in my heart through the words of my dad.
Driving with my dad to the church office was something that my brothers and I did a lot since we were the pastor’s kids.
I never resented being a pastor’s kid. I embraced it.
But it wasn’t always easy. Sometimes it was really hard.
I remember one day getting really upset because someone said something mean about my dad. I was hurt and I wanted to defend him.
I went to my dad and told them what they had said and I fully expected him to get upset, but he didn’t.
He didn’t even say anything mean about the person who said it. Instead he said something nice.
I was so surprised. “Dad, how can you keep on going when people say stuff like that?” I asked. I knew that if someone said something like that about me, I would just quit.
I’ll never forget my dad’s answer. He said, “GraceAnna, if I were in ministry simply to please people, I would have quit a long time ago. I’m in ministry to please God.”
His response shifted my perspective off of others and onto Christ.
I let my frustration go, and instead looked to Christ.
The word “honor” is not a word that I use very often. But when I think of my dad, I think of this word.
To honor someone is to go beyond respect and to bend over backwards to show respect for other people.
My dad showed me what the word honor meant that day. And he showed it to me so many more times, and he still shows me what it means today.
I’m thankful for my dad on this father’s day for so many things. But when I think of what I’m thankful for most, it’s that He has always pointed me to Christ.
And he has sought to live His life so that others would see Christ.
Thank you dad for introducing me to my perfect Heavenly Father.
I love you. Happy Father’s Day.