I don’t generally make a big deal about Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Any acknowledgments are generally kept small and consist of a card. Up until last year, we left town the week preceding Father’s Day in an attempt to leave behind the dark cloud that accompanies it. As much as the boys love Preston, they miss their daddy. This year, the anniversary of his death fell 2 days before this bittersweet holiday.
This year has been oddly different. Yesterday, we spent the day volunteering at event for disabled children at Sparrow Ranch On The Island( Look them up up Facebook!). This year’s theme was “Good, good Father”. We were surrounded by some of the most beautiful children you have ever laid eyes on. Deaf, blind, crippled…. you name it. But one thing you noticed first, some of these kids had something special that most of us can never attain….. the sweetest joy. A joy so sweet that you could almost taste it. I met a young man named Chad. His earthly diagnosis is Down Syndrome. Chad blew me away. The love POURED out of this young man. I’m not a hugger but I did not want to let this boy out of my arms. I want what Chad has! Chad sang a song to his daddy during the worship service….. “Amazing Grace”. The tears poured.
During the worship service, the pastor spoke such an encouraging word to the families. He preached that these families are given special crosses to bear. These crosses are our testimony. A testimony of our love and obedience to Christ. It wasn’t Jesus’ will to die on that cross, it was HIS Father’s. Jesus carried the cross as a symbol of love and obedience to HIS Father. This is what we should all do.
What an amazing love that OUR Father has for us that it was HIS will for His perfect, sinless Son to be a testimony of God’s love for us?
I’ll never look at my cross the same.
This morning, as we were heading to Church, I noticed Preston had tears in his eyes. Chase had written a really sappy Facebook post wishing Preston a wonderful Father’s Day. But that wasn’t what all the tears were about.
His friend Matt had texted him. Matt is like a son to Preston. And a big brother/surrogate parent to Chase and Hunter. You’ll remember that Matt belongs to the crow, Megan. Matt and Megan are infertile and recently started the lengthy adoption process. Matt’s message to Preston was “Happy Father’s Day buddy”. To which Preston replied “Thank You. One day soon we’ll be exchanging Father’s Day wishes to each other. Of course, you’re like a father to our boys already. SO Happy Father’s Day to you as well”.
I’m going to hit rewind right here and take you back a few years to when my perfect child, Chase was 15 and dumb. Preston had just been out of the hospital several weeks and still required intensive care. I was preoccupied with his care. Chase took advantage of that and made a very dumb decision to drink with some other boys. They were caught. I was ready to kill him. Really, I was ready to hurt my child in a way that scared me. Matt intervened. He took Chase to a cemetery and showed him a friend’s gravesite that was the consequence of alcohol. I really don’t know what all Matt shared with Chase that night but I do believe that it was a pivotal point in his life. Chase is now 18 and making some of the best decisions for his life and I couldn’t be prouder. The point is, that’s Matt for you. He cared enough to intervene and invest in both my boys. That’s what a daddy does.
Matt has been with us through every step of Preston’s journey. Last year, we had what was a major setback and at the time, Preston had to be rushed to the Emergency Room where I completely fell apart and turned totally useless. Matt left his job, and came and sat with Preston through the entire ordeal.(Megan had me in the waiting room and I swear she paid a stranger to come up and invade my space and hug me. I hate hugs and about throat punched the stranger when she tried to kiss my face! Another story for another day!).
Back to Matt…. he’s always there. I can’t count the times he’s helped me get Preston to doctors appointments or took him to church meetings. He is the real deal when scripture refers to iron sharpening iron. He’s what a son/brother does.
This morning, my eyes teared up as Matt and Megan sat in front of us during church service. My heart broke when the pastor asked all the fathers to stand up and receive a gift. Matt remained seated. I saw the tears in both their eyes and how Matt pulled her a little closer. I cringed that this was a precursor to the message today. I was wrong.
Our Pastor preached on the Good, Good Father. The one who does the things that no earthly father can do. Matt, Chase and Hunter all have something in common. Two grieve someone they lost, one grieves something he is yet to have. But they all have the love of the Good, Good Father!
God is good. Happy Father Day to all men who invest in another person’s life!