Gregory_Peck_Atticus_Finch_Publicity_Photo

The majority of this is for my father, but I’ve included other men as well. Despite what our world may say right now, giving much attention to the Bob Ewells and far less to the Atticus Finches, Tom Robinsons, and Boo Radleys, this post could probably apply to many men who quietly do what must be done each day, whatever it may cost them…


Thank you…

for coming home after working all night and watching me toddle around your apartment, even though once you dozed long enough for me to take my first chew just as Mom walked through the front door…

for reading books, sound effects included, and I never knew you dreaded reading aloud…

for trying to fix my hair the few times you did send me to preschool…

for teaching me to wash a car, change a tire, and drive a stick-shift, hugging those back-road curves tight while blaring music and playing the drums on the steering wheel…

for showing me how to pat out biscuits, fry hamburgers, fold towels “your way,” throw a football, box out in basketball, and even turn the door knob…

for making me do things I was too afraid to do–slide down the big slide, ride a bike, jump off the diving board (okay, side of the pool), steer the riding mower, and play outside despite the bees and wasps…

for officially and unofficially coaching sports, listening to stories, and watching “three hour long plays” featuring every stuffed animal I possessed…

for letting me whittle with your pocket knife, even though I didn’t make anything and it dulled the blade…

for insisting on vacuuming under the refrigerator, sniffing questionable left-overs, and religiously checking light bulbs…

for figuring out that flies take off backwards so that you can catch them with one swipe of your hand and then throw them outside for them to buzz right back in…

for taking time to try to fix the pipes, water heater, toilet, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, air conditioning unit, even though you were running on little to no sleep and didn’t have the right tools…and even more so, for recruiting my other siblings to assist in these experiments…

for getting up at three in the morning to drive to work in the dead of winter in a truck that had no heater…

for making me look up words in the dictionary and instructing me to never use a word that I didn’t know what it meant–and for very good reasons…

for praying and eating dinner with us…

for reading the book of Matthew to me when I was eight…

for carrying me into the ER at Children’s when I was nine and then staying up for ten days straight…

for your insistence that we appreciate the classics, meaning old black-and-white films, musicals, and the cheesy old Disney movies from the ’60s and ’70s…

for digging out ingrown toenails and popping those pimples in my ear…

for taking me to breakfast or the Chinese buffet and talking about ministry, the Gospel, boys, writing–everything…

for randomly telling me I am beautiful, smart, loved, and that you’re proud of me…

for leaving voicemails that mostly included bits of songs you loved…

for typing that really long email you sent when I was away at college when you didn’t even type your papers for Bible college…

for sitting on the front porch of Cracker Barrel and crying over me the way our Heavenly Father weeps over us when we are broken…

for telling all of us you loved us, for hugs and kisses, and even grabbing our feet and popping our toes…

for doing the right thing even though it cost you…more than once…

for doing the wrong thing…and admitting it…

for teaching me to shoot a .22 and then bragging about how I hit nine out of ten targets, even when they were only about ten feet away…

for knowing how to keep your mouth shut…

for listening to my meandering thoughts and concerns during what I know had to be the most inconvenient moments…

for patiently grounding me back in reality when I need it…

for humbly receiving push-back or even rebuke…

for saying you were sorry–without any “ifs,” “seems,” or “buts”…

for not getting angry or making fun when I cried…

for sharing wisdom while also telling me that I have a good head on my shoulders…

for reminding me that I can do nothing on my own strength…

for calling me out when I’m ungracious, or better yet, a jerk…

for assuring me that I don’t have to put up with x, y, or z…

for scrubbing the floors, stacking chairs, wiping and breaking down tables, and cleaning up vomit–all while wearing a suit…

for not just relying on me but telling me why you can and then also recognizing my human weaknesses…

for saying that real men cry…and actually crying…

for having my back and not making me feel weak or wrong for it…

for slipping hot chocolate on my desk, sharing about your own failures, and always pointing back to Christ…

for engaging in theological and philosophical discussion, however elementary or pedantic my questions may seem…

for taking me seriously, valuing my ideas, emotions, and time…but for not taking me too seriously, helping me to get over myself…

for not only reading my writing and consistently telling me to continue, but for sharing how it has helped your own soul–and for making that hilariously outrageous comment to my Dad that I might just give C.S. Lewis a run for his money…

for fixing my computer free of charge, multiple times…

for poking your head out into the hall to say “Hi,” to the slightly creepy men who wouldn’t stop talking…and then they left…

for flirting with your wife in public…but also praising her in public…

for hugging and kissing your children, playing with them, and patiently showing them how to do things both simple and grand…

for preaching the Word: in the pulpit, the classroom, the office, the lunch table, the living room,the car–and both spoken and unspoken.

and for doing, as Miss Maudie observed about Atticus, our unpleasant jobs for us…

“I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.”

~To Kill a Mockingbird

“Gregory Peck publicity photo for the film, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962″ By Universal Pictures – eBay, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67007118

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Perennial, 2006.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “To My Dad and the Many Good Men I Know

  1. No words for this…frame it…give it out

    On Fri, Nov 29, 2019, 11:24 PM Votary of the Blue Flower wrote:

    > votaryoftheblueflower posted: ” The majority of this is for my father, but > I’ve included other men as well. Despite what our world may say right now, > giving much attention to the Bob Ewells and far less to the Atticus > Finches, Tom Robinsons, and Boo Radleys, this post could probably a” >

    Like

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