Saturday, March 21, 2009

Daddy's Shoes Don't Fit or Do They?

It was always difficult to buy my Daddy a gift...birthday, Christmas, or Father's Day...unless he needed a new Bible. Every time I asked him what he wanted, I always got the same answer..."for you to be happy"! That is all he ever wanted for anyone that he loved and he loved a lot of people. He wanted everyone to be happy here on earth, but also experience eternal accept Jesus as their personal Savior. He shared Jesus with every one that he met. He shared Jesus with his hands because he was always helping someone, with his voice whether singing gospel tunes or speaking most gentle words, with his money as he gave to the church, and with his heart as he loved all people.

Daddy was a simple man. He really never needed much. When he needed a new suit, he usually bought black, dark gray, or navy and the other some shade of brown. When he needed new shoes, he bought two pair just pair in black and one pair in brown, 8 1/2 D...which he so proudly and much to my embarrassment would wear even with his plaid Bermuda shorts and dress socks.

As I thought about Daddy today, I wondered how much I was like him. Do I share Jesus everyday with everyone that I meet with my hands, with my voice, with my money, with my heart? Do I really need more? Is my greatest desire "for others to be happy"? Do I buy shoes just pair in black and one pair in brown? You be the judge....

Today would have been another day to ask Daddy what he wanted for his birthday...he would have been 90 years old today and he would have said...."for you to be happy". On this day, Daddy has the best gift of all...he sits with Jesus on his birthday and he is happy!

I remember what I was doing on March 21, 1978 as I deliberated over what to give my Daddy for his birthday that year. Our family was meeting for dinner that evening to celebrate his 59th birthday. I was folding towels (yellow ones...not sure how I remember that) on a bright sunny afternoon. He had given me no clues as to what he wanted...same old, same old response..."for you to be happy". I had only a few hours to make a decision and purchase a gift.

I was only 11 days past the due date for my first child. On that day in 1978 when my Daddy turned 59, I gave him a gift that no one else had given him....a grandchild born on his birthday. I gave him just what he wanted..."for me to be happy". It was a happy day...a happy birthday for two men in my Daddy and my firstborn son.

If the shoe fits, wear it well!