Today is Father’s Day, a day when some men find themselves grilling or trying to look pleased with one more tie. Some wish they could’ve been dads, others want another chance to do better.
Jud was not a sentimental person. He married one, which sometimes he accepted as compensation for his lack, other times, not so much. Since he’s died, I’ve found cards, letters and notes he’d kept, reminders of his softer side. One card was a Father’s Day card I’d written in 2008.
Rereading it, I thought, some are current reminders about what it takes to be a good Dad. So in honor of Jud, I’ve excerpted a few lines.
“for giving your children and grandchildren an example to respect, a life worth following.”
“for living large through a greater mission than yourself.”
“for leading more by asking good questions than making pronouncements.”
“for listening more than talking.”
“for being well-read so we’re better taught.”
As I think on Jud this day, I’m reminded that he didn’t need to hunt profound last words to pass along to us. He did what he’d been doing for as long as I knew him. Jud said what he’d lived, “Just Follow Jesus.”
You don’t have to be a Dad to live a life worth following or to make a difference in a child’s life.
So on this day, in addition to all the dads and grandpas, I say thanks to teachers, uncles, coaches, neighbors, pastors, doctors, mentors, and friends’s parents who’ve blessed our children, grandchildren or another child by choosing to show up, listen long, cheer and love them through inviting them into your lives.
And, whether you thought so or not, you were Following Jesus.
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