My father is the best! He will not be with me on Father’s Day because he resides in heaven. However, he remains in my soul. I can say without hesitation that without him, I doubt I would have survived these many years.

He gave me a manual long ago, which was my life’s instruction book. Often, I ignored it and created my own rules. It never works out well when I decide not to follow instructions. After falling and failing many times, I finally perceive that my father is much smarter than I am.

I looked at the old instruction guide the other day and saw many of the highlighted sentences that Dad asked me to honor. “Love” is marked with a pink highlighter. In my early years, I understood love was the ingredient needed to experience a good life. At first, I thought it meant the way Mom and Dad cared for one another, but as I grew, I understood that love in abundance thrives when you love others as yourself. Dad said, “Love isn’t selfish; not to be hoarded, but unselfishly shared.” The more love we give away, even to those who are an enemy, the more it will be returned.

Dad was right. But he always is!

“Forgiveness” was highlighted in yellow. Father always said, “You must forgive those who hurt you.” Lord, as many times as I disappointed Dad, he never seemed to change his affection for me. He always forgave me, would hug me, hand me his instruction book, and tell me to study. Forgiving ourselves and others clears our path toward wisdom.

Yes, resentment and anger do not allow us to experience joy. My father was right about forgiveness. But he always is!

If you wanted to make Dad angry, be judgmental. If I showed arrogance or acted as if I were better than another, my father put me in a corner where I wrote, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” about 100 times. He could put me in shame quicker than my grandmother, which was quite a feat.

Grandmother always taught, “Walk a mile in another’s shoes before you judge them.” Dad would add, “Yes, keep walking in those shoes, or I will add rocks to yours!”

Now, when I see the arrogance and judgmental behavior in another, I know they are walking with rocks in their shoes. Eventually, they will fall, so I guess Dad is also right about that!

How many times did I hear my father say, “Trust me!” “Well, how am I going to fix this, and how am I going to survive that?” I would ask. His response was always one word: Faith. “Little girl, you have to keep your faith to see the unseen.” When I was little, I was confused by the highlighted purple sentence in my book. How was I supposed to see something invisible?

One day I thought, well, I do not see air, but I know it is there. I cannot see love, or hate, or angels, but I know they exist. So, I guess Dad meant that you must trust those things that live in your soul to help you survive the this and that of living. Faith is like a life preserver when we are drowning, and hope is the gift faith brings.

The longer I breathe, faith becomes the air. I couldn’t live without it. So, my father is right about trust. Of course!

I am a bit sad today because I think my brothers, sisters, and I might need to reread Dad’s instruction book to help live our best lives. If we do, we will become less angry, more open, kinder, and compassionate. We need to implement the highlighted words and listen carefully to the voice he left within our hearts.

Yes, I had and still do have the best father in the world. He goes by many names, but my favorite is God. His instruction manual is the Bible, and we are all his children. To you, Father, the one I trust, the one I love, the one who holds my hand, and the one who puts me in a corner, I say, “Thank you.”

Happy Father’s Day, my Father

I love you, Lynn

PS: God, please thank my earthly father for introducing me to you.

Lynn Gendusa of Roswell is the author of “It’s All Write with Me!” Essays from my heart. She can be reached at www.lynngendusa.com.

Recommended for you