February 28 marks the anniversary of my father’s birth, so it seems only right to put down some thoughts on the man and his value to my life.
My dad’s a good man.
He not only played a pretty critical role in me having life, (I’ll refrain from going into detail, so if you missed that day of biology, I’m sorry,) but he’s also provided me with more than I’ll ever be able to repay him.
He’s a man strong moral convictions, which he’ll stand by no matter their popularity. Likewise, he’s also proven time and time again that he’ll stand by his children no matter their popularity, which at times has probably been a little harder than standing by his morals.
He’s also one of the most philanthropic people I’ve ever met.
Growing up, I watched the dude cut more checks for the collection plate than I ever have, or will, even own. He’s a big fan of Angel Trees at Christman and there have also been quite a few years that I could have sworn he was trying to put a couple of Girl Scouts through college via cookie purchases. He has a heart for helping like that, and a stomach for Samoas, so that’s been a very successful combo.
My dad’s a good man and he’s taught me a lot, but the most important lesson he’s ever gave me is that he is not a perfect man.
The most important lesson he ever gave me is that he is a flawed man.
In a world where so many people are constantly trying to shine up their own self image and project themselves flawless in such a self-righteous manner, my dad has been a near perfect example of transparency.
He’s never hid his flaws, he’s owned them.
He’s never blamed others for his mistakes, he’s owned them as well.
And most importantly, he’s never led me to believe he was a man worthy to be in God’s presence on his own merit.
He’s always owned the fact that he was simply a sinner, one desperately in need of Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s grace.
Because of this, he never had to tell me I was a sinner and he never had to tell me I too needed Jesus. I simply watched his example and knew if he wasn’t “good” enough without Jesus, I had no chance.
Of all the things he’s given me — money, time, a middle name no one else has, and yes, even some much-needed correction via a leather belt embroidered with the word, “Zeke” — the example of a man completely dependent on God’s love is by far the most valuable.
It’s the most important lesson I could ever learn, and thanks to him, I did.
Thanks, dad. And happy birthday.