My dear daddy, who is dead now,
My dear daddy, who is dead now, was hurt by me unintentionally before he died. But like the loving dad he was, after mentioning it to me and hearing my explanation, continued to love me as he always had.
You probably remember that my father was a charismatic minister and that I’ve said we had many conversations about the fact that I used my ability in the manner in which I do. Also you’ve heard from me that my daddy was frightened of his own God-given talents.
Daddy kept his Bible close to his chair so that when he sat down he could immerse himself in the stories that it held. He could quote most any passage from memory but he couldn’t always allow himself the luxury of thinking and committing the sacrilege of making up his own mind as to what that passage meant. It had to be taken verbatim which always confounded me because the Bible has been translated so many times and man, given any situation, can’t always pass along the information just as it happened even if they’ve seen the event happen themselves. Ask any good policeman.
Another item that kept my attention on daddy’s obsession with the Bible was that he looked at the metaphysical gifts there and was sure they happened, just as was written like Jesus turning the water into wine, but that with Jesus death they stopped. Two Biblical passages always came to mind when he said that to me. First that God announced Biblically that He was the same always and forever. And the other that Jesus said quite frankly that all things He could do each of us was capable of too. So, obviously, my father didn’t take his entire Bible as fact like he said or he’d have realized the gifts he received were to be used and not feared, let alone the same today as yesterday.
But I could go on and on about this and it would get us nowhere. The way in which I hurt my father was that I said, like the good Biblical scholar he was, he didn’t spare the rod nor spoil the child. His words to me were, “I was a horrible parent according to what you wrote in your book.”
My answer to this man who gave up so much for me seemed to soothe him. At any rate he forgave me if it didn’t. That response was this, “Daddy, you didn’t make me who I am. I did that but you helped me get here by being the best parent you could have been. Children never agree with all their parents have done and always find something they think wasn’t done correctly when they were children but you gave us love, a home, food on the table and consistence, which is love itself. We knew what you expected and we tried even though sometimes we didn’t quite measure up. I wouldn’t have any other parent over you. You helped me become who I am and I’m grateful for the experience.”
The book that hurt him so badly as a father set proudly next to his Bible so that he could reach out and read passages from both.