A FATHER’S SUMMER HEART
“Honor your father….which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it will be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1 According to this scripture, there is a reward for doing the right thing. Jeremiah 35: 18-19 reaffirms that those who honor their parents are blessed.
My father was a good hard working man (two shifts most of the time) with a tender heart. He would often quote the above mentioned scripture to us and he liked the shows “Father Knows Best”, “Hawaii Five O” and all the westerns. He called them “shoot’em ups. When we all gathered around him by the fire feeling warmth, comfort, and security, he sang to us and told stories. Home was our haven and center of life. Whatever happened during the day, it just got better when Dad came home. One of our joys was the peanut patties purchased somewhere near the mill. We could expect him to bring home special things any time of the year. Many relatives, as they made their exodus from the south lived in our father’s home. Once inside our house, they always found kindness. My father did not speak harshly or suggest that the welcome mat was for a short season.
When I need the whispers of God, it is then that I remember and understand why Father would sit motionless, and quietly, reading the Bible, listening to the whispers of God. He speaks before I pray, listens when I pray and understands groans and moans that I cannot put into words. The sounds of the rude world, heard all around are lulled by the whispers. They die out of my soul and sink so low that I can only hear the whisperings of God. When the “whips and scorns of life” are more than anyone can handle, the spirit of God gives me a seat as my father.
He could also be “A GREAT BALL OF FIRE” when he needed to spring into the defensive and protective mode. When he spoke, everyone listened. It was the voice of authority. We like to imitate him in popping his chest and saying “I’M CLAUDE”. With all his kindness, helpfulness, and song in his summer heart, it was not wise to misinterpret any of this including his stiff upper-lip. Father had insurmountable strength and unstoppable wisdom saying “If you listen to God, he will listen to you.” He had a perpetual summer in his heart that kept him singing fun songs like, “The Acheson, Topeka, and Sante Fe”, “SAN ANTONIO” and “Don’t Fence Me In” which reminds me that as long as I live there should be no end to my summer heart? Father filled my heart with wealth, warmth, and confidence to last from summer to winter of life. He was very articulate and loved teaching us to respect the Lord. “I’ll Serve You Lord Until My Dying Day” and “I Know Jesus Will Be Waiting At The End For Me” are songs that he treasured. We have these treasures in earthen vessels so the excellence is of God and not of us. My treasure chest is filled with gems of the purest and brightest quality but not in cash. I wish I could re-captivate the sound of Father and the rest of the adults singing the scales in harmony. My uncle Luther was a music teacher and they all sang with beautiful voices. It was so beautiful. They sang southern gospel on the lawn in the dark. What a time! It’s no wonder that we sing “If I Could Hear My Father Pray Again”!
The sweetness of many flowers is wasted in the air. The beauty blushing quickly, before it is shared. Both beauty and strength describe the on alee. Look at this plant and you will disagree. Until Incredulous, pink, night blooms, appear mysteriously. Precious jewels are always put in a safe place! Sapphires of knowledge are stored in an important space of my mind. Pearls of wisdom are like clouds that pamper me, occupy my heart lovingly, and make me laugh. Diamond hardness reminds me to stay in the race. Emeralds of steadfastness say don’t bend and these all make up the greatest part of my inheritance.
A Father’s Summer Heart is very sensitive as he plans his next course of action. Say the word “THANKS” because they are humans who are expected to be unemotional as they protect and provide for their families. My father was relentless when it came to his job. Often suffering hidden pain, he went to work with an attitude of respect for his family.
Let me quote some jewels of his lips: “A man is supposed to work. If a man is not a worker, he is nothing. You have to do more than you get paid for to live a successful life. Work is the difference between honor and disrespect. Don’t wear your feelings on your cuff, do what the job requires!” Reflecting the different eras of times and experiences with him is pleasant. He would stop by my house when I had three small children, and there he remained favorite storyteller for his grandchildren. The mystery of fathers could become a bestselling novel.
Honor your father and receive the promise of Ephesians 6:1 (Length of good days). Father’s day is a reminder and opportunity to return the favor of loving care. Remember to say the three classic words “I love you, FATHER.” His fate may one day be in your hands after he has raised you up, but he will always be father.