A Place for All Women

The Measure of a Man

“Safe? Who said anything about safe?

‘Course He isn’t safe.   But He’s good.”   

               -C.S. Lewis 

            Religion and rules have never been a big part of my dad’s daily life.  He’s a good man, but not much of a church-going kind of guy.  He never cusses.  He seldom says anything bad about anyone, even if they deserve it.  And, though people have tried to judge him, he doesn’t reciprocate.

            While I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and learned a little about my chosen profession, my dad took his high school diploma and leaned how to do just about everything.      

            He set the bar really high, and each time I would struggle to get to the top, he would just raise it higher.  It was crazy frustrating and I spent a lot of wasted time trying to figure out why a father would want, need and demand that I always do my best. 

            What I didn’t realize then is that it was good training.  This man, who would rather mow his yard than hear more preaching from the pulpit, was an earthly example of a God who is good.  

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”  Colossians 3:23:24

            Now, don’t get me wrong, girls.  It wasn’t always Daddy/Daughter Day.  There were times when he toppled right off of that pedestal I had placed him on; and there was some serious silence between us during my most rebellious years.  He is a believer in free will and firm discipline, and, the more time I spend with my dad, the more I understand my God.  There’s nothing easy about being your best.  It’s hard work.  But God knows that, and must have told my dad.  The apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:14

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

            In this fallen world, Father’s Day isn’t always the happiest time if you have an absent dad, an abusive dad or a dad you’ve never known.  We all know making a baby doesn’t make you a dad…but, the God who made you is your Father.  It is never too late to depend on Him, count on Him, and call on Him.

            Is God safe?  No, not really.  He will push you, prune you, discipline and refine you.  He will test your faith and rock your world.  Still, He is always good!

            Just the other night, I was sitting on the front porch swing, distraught over the two mares God has given us.  It seems when I most want to spend time with them, they’re rebellious, withdrawn or simply turn and walk away.  The thought immediately went through my mind that sometimes I act the same way…moody, rebellious, and withdrawn.  When I told my dad about it he laughed and said, “It sounds like God is speaking to you.”  No sweeter words has he ever spoken.  Whether he knows it or not, without rules and religion, he has taught me how to listen.  In my mind, that is the measure of a man!        

Keziahcarrie has a growing list of subscribers; and we all have one thing in common.  We are women on a journey.  Tell us about your dad.  Good, bad and ugly.  Sharing our stories gives us strength.   

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Proverbs 27:17

May you have a Happy Father’s Day with your Heavenly Father!


Comments on: "The Measure of a Man" (7)

  1. Such a sweet story,loved reading it.

  2. What a lovely tribute to your father.

    • I guess it could be a bit dangerous to associate with someone who is always writing. 😉 I hope he is blessed by it but mostly I want other women to realize than they have a Father, even if the one on earth wasn’t there for them, God always will be!

  3. Good reading! I very much enjoyed this one too!

  4. Theresa Bakken said:

    My father bounced ‘toddler’ me on his knee while reading poetry. I have the poetry book now and can easily find his favorites – smudged and broken in the binding. I can see where he held the book open with one hand. When my kids were little, I held the book the same way.
    My father played Jesus Christ Superstar every Easter on what are now vintage vinyl records. When I gather my children around any table before a meal – the lyric ‘If you would remember Me when you eat and drink’ still echoes in my mind.
    My father made me feel successful, smart, pretty and loved. I never doubted his pride.
    The year I got married –
    My father left. He walked me down the aisle and then walked away from our family. He divorced my mom.
    No matter how old you are – divorce is a devastating death of a family.
    He disappeared into a drunken fog of depression. It wasn’t the first time, but it was the first time we didn’t disappear with him.
    This year –
    My father reappeared in my life. He’s sober and remarried. With help from the VA, he’s unlocked his long untreated black box of PTSD. He says he’s finally come home from Vietnam. I took my kids to meet him. My father read them poetry and I loved him more than ever.

    Thanks for the post – and for encouraging me to sit down and write about my father.

    • What an incredible story of love and tragedy, hope and triumph. As the reader, my mind goes from thinking how magical it must have been as a child and then how the circumstances so marred the most important day of your life, but then the surprise of his return and your ability to love and forgive. It brought me to tears. Such a story of Amazing Grace! God is a God of second chances and there are fathers and daughters, fathers and sons all over this world who are grateful for one more opportunity to get it right. What a blessing for your chlldren to have a mother who can so eloquently tell them from whence they’ve come. What a blessing for your father to have a daughter willing to let him return. No matter what he went through, no matter how badly your heart was broken, all roads led here. May this be the most blessed Father’s Day to remember. Love you my friend!!

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