Something Broken? Just Call Dad!
A friend of the family stopped by our house last week to say hello while she was in town and to get a few fresh vegetables to take back with her. During the visit, one of our daughters brought my attention to a strip of plastic shroud that was hanging down from the front bumper of her car. I immediately crawled under the bumper to see what I could do to correct it. It wasn’t long before cable ties and pliers were in my hands and in a few minutes it was as good as new—well maybe not as good as new, but at least the plastic wasn’t dangling like it was. When I reported that I had it “fixed”, Sandra asked if I fixed it or rigged it. That was an appropriate question, for my family knows that Papa will try to fix or rig anything to make it work. And in this case, I had to confess that I rigged it—but it worked just fine.
I think back of the things over the years that our girls have handed off to me to apply my repair skills to. When our girls were small they thought I could fix any broken toy or other item; I have always maintained that duct tape and super glue have made me a real hero in their eyes. As time moved on, more complicated items were up for repair: appliances, cars, furniture, computers, and whatever else needed my ingenuity. When Madeline’s glasses broke and it was going to be awhile before new ones came in, I saved the day with a good application of epoxy; the glasses would not fold up, but they served the purpose until her replacement arrived.
But doing repairs is not all that I get called on for. Varmint eradication can also be added to the list.
Early one morning last week, I got a rather frantic call from Jessica. When the girls call and ask the question, “Are you at home?” there is usually more to it than just inquiring about my location. As the conversation unfolded, she informed me that there was a snake on her front porch. Her husband was at work so it was up to Papa to save the day. I thought the viper was holding her hostage in her own house, but I learned that she had managed to get out the door and in the car. I made the seven mile journey to her place feeling pretty sure the thing would have crawled away by the time I got there, but I was wrong—he was in the same spot she had told me. I came armed with my garden hoe and went into battle with this gigantic threat and I came forth victorious. I took down the cold blooded invader that was as big around as my little finger and a whopping eighteen inches in length with just a few whacks with the garden tool!
The snake was harmless and would have done much more good than harm, but to her it was a threat to her and her girls. And the good part for me was that it opened up one more opportunity for dad to be a hero.
It is rewarding when we dads can use our hands to accomplish good things for our families, but we must never overlook the importance of the things that do not include glue, screws, and cable ties. Our families need our time, our compassion, and our willingness to listen even when we do not have all the answers to the complexities of life. We might be a lot more comfortable gluing broken eye glasses together or eliminating a creature that has encroached on the premises of our children, but we must not allow fear of failure to hinder us from being there to provide comfort, love and support during the challenges of life.
Being a Godly father is not always an easy task, but it is vitally important. So men, during this season of Fathers’ Day, be of good cheer—you do not have to strive and struggle alone. God is there to guide and use you; you need only to trust in Him. As I wish you a happy Fathers’ Day, I challenge you to put these words into practice: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, New International Version).