September 14 marked thirty years that my father has been gone from this world. I saw that milestone in my mind, off and on throughout that day. As is always true for those who grieve, my feelings were mixed. I was saddened by all of the good things that dad was not here to see and share with me in the past three decades. He didn't see any of his children married. He didn't get to hold a grandchild. He didn't hear me preach as a pastor. I sorted through the confusing ideas of what God allows those in heaven to know and what they don't know. I come to a joyful moment and think "it wouldn't be heaven if dad doesn't know about this." Then, in a heartbreaking time, I think "it wouldn't be heaven if he had to know about this."
My strongest feeling on that milestone day was how much my father is alive in me. Though he has not walked this earth since 1981, I have not lived a single day that he has not been with me. The memories are good. The lessons are truth. The example is faithful. I am blessed. I stayed up late that night and wrote down some of my thoughts about my father's absence and presence for the past thirty years. I hope that these words will one day grow up to be a song.
Though you've been gone so many years
I have never walked alone.
Your strength and wisdom
go with me each day.
And though I've cried so many tears
Still my heart is filled with joy
for a father's love that ever guides my way.
Remembering and Giving Thanks,