21 November 2011 ~ 0 Comments

My Dad: Long Gone but Still Touching Me

My Dad has been in heaven now about 3 1/2 years, and yet he continues to “speak to me” from time to time. No, it’s not an audible voice. Probably better stated as “he continues to impress and influence me”. He touches me. Here is a recent example. A cool one.

He would have turned 84 Sunday, Nov 20, so my mind has been on him a lot lately. We were close. We ran a marathon together when he was almost 60. We literally ran 100’s of miles together over 25 years. Talked about everything from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton, theology, married life – we pretty much covered it all.

Anyway, I have this new workshop/barn and was trying to anchor a vice to my work bench last Saturday. Got the holes easily drilled on the Formica-like top, but when I started to screw the bolts in I discovered I could not get to them w/ my ratchet wrench.

FLASHBACK: When dad died in 2008, we had the typical task of going through all his stuff. He and mom had lived in their home 40 years. FORTY YEARS! Everything had to go because Mom had decided to move to an assisted living facility about a mile from her east TN home. (She made an amazing, God-led, miraculous transition, btw!) On the final day of sorting out who gets what and what gets thrown out, I decided to keep my dad’s old – very old – tool box which had some very old, partly-rusted tools. It was mainly out of respect for the many years he had crafted furniture and other wood-working items. (He was very talented in his shop, the most “precise” man I have ever known.) So thinking I would never need them but just wanted another something to remember him by, I took the tools.

Back to the present in my shop: I looked around and wondered how I was going to get the bolts down to secure the vice. I couldn’t find anything from my tools that would fit. So I went to my garage there I saw it – my dad’s faded-red metal dented tool box. I opened it and saw several well-worn open ended wrenches in there, grabbed a bunch of them and headed off to the barn where my shop is. The FIRST one I tried did the trick. Part of me said “Thanks, Dad”.

This trans-generational connection was a cool experience that my dad’s tools from yesterday were actually helping me today. For a moment I felt my Dad’s wanting to help me, his love from yesteryear once again.

Did my father “speak” to me from his grave? No. I prefer to view it as my Heavenly Father responding to His Son’s prayer many years ago. Jesus said that He would pray and ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to us. Only He referred to Him as the “Comforter”. See John 14:16.

Though I wouldn’t for a moment wish he was back on this earth, I still miss my Dad. Will always I guess. In times when the miss is stronger, like around his birthday, the Father once again answers His Son’s prayer and sends me the Comforter in a most unique way.

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