As Christians, we are saints in Christ. It does not mean we are perfect this side of heaven, but because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we are positionally in Him. His.
I don't want to turn my Dad into an idol. Neither do I want to dwell on the past because we all make mistakes. We all sin. Jesus died for the sins of the entire world.
If I could have---no regrets---but, because I blubber easily, I'd like to list a few things I'd like to tell Dad thank you:
Thank you, Dad, for giving me a love of learning about God, the Bible, taking me to visit the pastor's wife, Mrs. Algrim, who explained the gospel to me at 10 years old. Your conversion and mine are linked by that week in October 1963.
Thank you for taking us to church faithfully after that...to learn more about the gift of salvation Jesus paid so dearly for us. Thank you for showing us by example how important it is to go to church, learn God's Word, pray with, sing with and encourage others.
Thank you for giving me a love of music, especially, singing. I am sorry I was never a good enough pianist to accompany you, as you longed for me to be. Thank you for giving me voice lessons---from you, from professionals, from teachers. From early age---what was I, five or six?? when you taught me the "Where is Love" song from Oliver. You taught me to love musicals.
Thank you for giving me a love of books, of reading, and learning. Thank you for being such young parents with energy, a love of people, parading, inviting people into our home.
Thank you for taking me to school, picking me up, making me responsible, accountable,
Thank you for teaching me to drive...and insisting on excellence because a huge automobile can do serious damage if you do not pay attention. (even though I resisted, knowing I could never drive as safely as you)
Thank you for moving us to Texas my sophomore year in high school where we could attend church and study the Bible every night and where I met my future husband, and learned to socialize.
Thank you for trying to impress on me the importance of staying in shape, eating right, taking vitamins.
Your boldness in sharing the gospel was amazing. Your boldness as a salesman was impressive--sorry I did not turn out to be the salewoman with NFIB you desired me to be.
Thank you for giving me away to my husband 35 years ago, even giving up your wedding ring to help move the ceremony along. Thank you for providing for me growing up--I never went hungry. I knew you loved me. And I knew you and Mother enjoyed the grandsons.
Thank you for the phone calls, the wisdom, the modelling of good behavior, paying off debts, gracious hospitality, opening your home to all, and most of all--
How do I thank you for your Voice? God gave you a tremendous talent, but you worked at it, took lessons, cultivated an opera Voice and yet you chose us. You could have been famous. You could have gone to New York or Hollywood, but you decided family was more important and you saw the dangers lurking in fame. You chose us. Your children and grandchildren and now four great-grandchildren will never know what all you sacrificed for us. But, we thank you, and we thank God for you---and while it was hard to watch you struggle physically these past few years, you modelled perseverance. Grace. You were given the tests of blindness, liver failure, and challenges from your bi-pass intestine operation (30+) years ago. Yet you used your voice to bless others in solos, leading the singing, entertaining, plays (in Illinois), and around the house--we were blessed.
Even your last days here, you sang out, "It is Well" in the chorus of that famous hymn.
Forgive me for talking you into wearing cowboy boots with your tux for a solo before wearing cowboy boots with a tux was cool.
Forgive me for being judgemental, a bad speller, fat. In heaven, my faults will be gone, too. I can't wait. Love you, Dad. I know you are having a wonderful reunion with Kenny, Skoneee, Dick Duke, your parents, grandparents, Abby's great grandmother, (Abby said, now you can be friends with her again! wise little six year old).
Maybe God has a plan for your Voice as Jesus comes back and sets everything right. Shout to the Lord. Sing out a new song. Praise His Name.
yes, this is what I'd like to tell my Dad.