Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like  olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.  (Psalm 128)

Yesterday we celebrated fathers.  In our family we celebrate you, beloved.

You who envelope, surround, uphold our family.  You are steady, a rock, a father who takes three people around the world to be with you when other men would welcome the distance.  You are faithful.  You are careful.  I see the weight of leadership you carry, inside and outside of our home.  It is heavy, yet it never weighs you away from us.   Instead, you allow it to anchor you to us.  You carry our children with the same meticulous tenacity that your God ingrained so deeply into who you are.  Our children are free to put the full weight of who they are onto your strength and care – and they do not know what a rare and powerful gift that is in this fractured world.  Someday they will know how breathtaking that is and why their mother is so in awe of you.

You enjoy them.  You are a father who refreshes himself through interacting with your little ones, another rare gift you offer their seeking hearts.  You are zany with them, fun-loving and affectionate.  You laugh with them, wrestle with them, encircle them with strong arms and a heart that finds them delightful.  I feel the tangled knots in my more sober shoulders unwind when I hear you belly laugh at their antics.  I learn so much about who I want to be as a parent from watching you play with them.

You teach them.  There is nothing so endearing to my soul as watching them soak you in.  Lucy shouts her gleeful, exuberant repetitions of your every word, while Jack will reign his tempestuous nature in always and only for your instruction.  It seems effortless how you walk in quiet manhood and I watch them fall into your secure orbit.

You are their Abba Daddy.  They know that there is a God, but they do not know how much they translate Him by who you are.  You and I know, and we make our way through the littered paths of motherhood and fatherhood, guiding them as best we can in our own broken frailty to our heavenly Abba and praying, praying that they will walk behind.  I am a Mother and can only tell of fatherhood.  You, though, you live it robustly and joyfully in a way that makes me fall in love a million times a day not only with you, but with my own Heavenly Father.

I adore you, beloved.  Happy Father’s Day.

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