When I first read the email a couple weeks ago my first reaction was “That’s crazy. There’s no way.” It was a reminder about the upcoming Sunday School lesson that I’d signed up to lead. Yes, I knew that I’d signed up for Father’s Day. No, I didn’t realize I’d be talking about my dad. Jesus, sure. Huckster? Uh-uh. Immediately a couple scenarios ran through my head. The first? A roomful of preschoolers sitting criss-cross applesauce with their heads resting gently on their hands as I sobbed uncontrollably with a mixture of snot and mascara running down my face. I imagined them wondering who the crazy lady was having the breakdown in front of them and then reporting back to their parents that some lunatic ran the show that morning. The second scenario wasn’t quite as dramatic: I imagined calling the woman in charge and telling her that I simply couldn’t do it. That dad just died two years ago. That it was still too fresh, too raw. That I’d be happy to talk about something else, like Jesus, or research a Bible story, but I just couldn’t bring myself to talk about my dad. But those thoughts just rolled through my head and I went about my business.
The week after the email, as I was out for a run, the idea came to me. I suddenly knew how I could talk about my dad AND talk about the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father. In fact, as I continued to run it all made perfect sense. Of course I would talk about my dad. How could I not? God gave me the most wonderful, loving example of an earthly father I could imagine. I knew I could —and had to —do it. (I also knew that if I didn’t my dad would be wanting to give me a serious butt kicking).
I woke up this morning with a few tears, but ready to share. And so over a period of 3 1/2 hours, in front of 5 pint-sized audiences, I talked about my dad. I showed the kids an 8″ x 10″ color picture of him and talked about how his funny nickname-that-was-a-name, Huck, came to be. I showed them a copy of the Gilroy Dispatch and told them how he wrote for the paper for 18 + years. But mostly I talked about the fact that no matter what I did, no matter how I acted, no matter what grades I got, my dad loved me. He always loved me the same. And I got to talk about how our Heavenly Father loves us even more than that – more than we can even imagine. In fact, it echoed the song that we sang right before the lesson, which I’ve been singing all afternoon:
“It’s about you, it’s about me, it’s about the truth that sets us free,
It’s about L-O-V-E love from the Father up above,
It’s about hope, it’s about life, it’s about the love of Jesus Christ,
It’s about everlasting, never failing, love……
It’s about everlasting, never failing, ever-faithful, never-ending love…”
So this Father’s Day, I got to talk about my dad. And after 3 1/2 hours and sharing with 5 pint-sized-audiences, I left with the overwhelming reminder that I am loved by a Father up above…
with an everlasting, never failing, ever-faithful, never-ending love.