I have been, and am blessed to have quite a few father figures in my life. Tantamount in my thoughts today is my dad, Chuck Brode (Charles M. Brode Feb. 4, 1930-Sept. 23, 2003).
I was a “daddy’s girl” for sure. I looked like him and more than anything I wanted to please him. I think my fondest childhood memory is hanging out with him while he worked on one of our many used cars. Sometimes, he would even let me, a 10 year old, help him. While he was tweaking the carb or adjusting something or other, I would get to start the car and push on the gas. “Just a little harder, Sissy” or “Be sure to let go of the key after it starts”.
Dad wasn’t only a mechanic and a former stock car driver, he was a macho construction worker, and later a fine wood cabinet maker. With these occupations also came the “payday party” and afterward, the tensions of Mom and Dad arguing about his drinking. Needless to say, my own perception of my father changed as I grew older and more aware of his character flaws. Hero worship ceased about the time I graduated high school.
In later years, Dad also recognized that he was an alcoholic and at the time of his death he, with the help of “Bill Wilson” had been sober for almost 30 years. Even so, as his health allowed, he was active in Alcoholics Anonymous.
My greatest and last memory of my dad was the time I spent with him right before he left this world. Presumably for a short time, I’d gone to stay with him while he recovered from one procedure and prepared for another. At the time, well, I just didn’t know that it was a “good bye” time.
The “two weeks” turned into almost 3 months. During that time, we more or less got into a routine. Dad was also the caretaker for my uncle who lived in the same senior complex. Uncle had had a stroke and needed help preparing his breathing treatments. Now, in addition to running errands, I had taken over this task. I was also blessed to have my own children around to help me! And the joy of grandchildren too. All were a help to me and even made sure I got out of the house!
During this time, my dad and I surpassed the father-daughter relationship. We talked politics, health, computers and of course, faith! After a study time, my dad said “Sissy, just so you know, I believe the same as you.”
“I know Daddy, I walked with you when you made the altar call, remember?”
“Yes, but ….” (pause), “I just wanted you to know”
Soon after, Dad went into the hospital, and well, never came home. To this day, I hang onto this brief conversation, knowing that when I am called, he’ll be there to greet me.
OTHER DADS IN MY LIFE
My beloved Scott: Thank you for being such an awesome example to/for my children and grandchildren! A leader, a counselor, a listening ear. Whether you believe it or not, you’re God’s most precious gift to me!
Most of all I am a child of the KING! Pastor Craig presented an awesome image of our Father God last night. You can see it again at Church Online
Scripture has LOTS of references to “father”. My favorite is the one Jesus used: abba.
† ἀββᾶ* (→ πατήρ)
B. ἀββᾶ in Early Christianity.
As concerns the usage of Jesus, the probability is that He employed the word אַבָּא not merely where it is expressly attested (Mk. 14:36) but in all cases, and particularly in address to God, where the Evangelists record Him as saying ὁ πατήρ, πάτερ, ὁ πατήρ μου, πάτερ μου, and even perhaps πάτερ ἡμῶν. In so doing He applies to God a term which must have sounded familiar and disrespectful to His contemporaries because used in the everyday life of the family. In other words, He uses the simple “speech of the child to its father”.
When the Aramaic term is used in the Greek Epistles of Paul (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6), there may well underlie it a liturgical reminiscence, possibly the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer. In any case there can be no doubt that the use of the word in the community is linked with Jesus’ term for God and thus denotes an appropriation of the relationship proclaimed and lived out by Him. Jewish usage shows how this Father-child relationship to God far surpasses any possibilities of intimacy assumed in Judaism, introducing indeed something which is wholly new.
(from Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964-c1976. Vols. 5-9 edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 compiled by Ronald Pitkin. (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (1:4-6). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
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