Today I felt like I went home for a visit when my former Pastor Burt got up there to speak to us today. Sure felt good. He had some good things to say that I really went away with in deep thought.
He told about his earthly father and the months leading up to his going to glory. And what he walked away with months later, as he was reflecting, makes me today, beings it is Father’s day, think about with my own dad.
He told a story that after his father’s passing that he carried a pocket knife, of his father’s that ended up getting crunched as he went thru security at the airport. He realized that that knife had symbolized some things in his life that he was holding onto about his father good or bad that he needed to crunch right along with that knife. He needed to let go of some things about his father that he was holding onto that was invading his life in a negative way.
I think we all have this to deal with in not just our father’s but others as well. I look at my dad and the things he has endured in his life time. The up’s and the down’s, and as my mother would remind me, I really will never know.. In some ways it has hardened his heart but in other ways his heart is so tender. The thing that makes his heart ‘tender’ is Jesus. Like all of us, no matter what our shortcomings when it comes right down to it my dad will tell you Jesus is the reason to live.
Pastor Burt shared that his dad wasn’t saved until very late in life when his own son, as in Burt, led him to the Lord. He shared that up until that point he never received any affection from his father, until he was saved and then he couldn’t stop hugging his son.
There is a tenderness that comes to one that has received the Lord that you cannot see until you realize that the only captive audience you want attention from is Jesus, your Father in heaven, He is what matters. And the way that this comes out is how you treat others.
My father doesn’t pray without tears, he has tenderness in him. He always offers up a big hug and kiss, I’m grateful.
His edges are rough at times in the way he says things, those are the ‘pocket knife’ times to let that go and let it be crunched for me.
He imparts wisdom ……as he was giving Layton advice with much emotion shared because my dad has lived on both sides,”you will have trouble in your heart if you don’t follow the Lord and live for HIM.”
Pastor Burt also shared that in his father’s last minutes on earth, in all the last bit of strength he had he lifted up his arm, motioned for Burt to come near, grabbed onto his shirt like he meant it, with all the strength he could muster up and said he was done fighting. Pastor Burt gave him a kiss and he was gone.
My dad, he too is a fighter, he works hard, and will never show a weakened state as long as he has breath on this earth. He, many times, likes to show that to his grandsons. (smile) I think he still has all the boys beat.
And the last bit of Pastor Burt’s talk to us today he said, “when it is your time to die, then be ready to just do that. No regrets, no last minutes on what you need to say to someone, live each day in the thought if I went today I said all there was to say.”
Today? I just got off the phone with my dad to wish him a Happy Father’s day. And I told him, as I always do, that I loved him. But in my heart, I meant it just that much more deeper today. I think I have let some of those ‘pocket knife’ moments go and it freed me up to love even that much more.
Happy Father’s day!