My father has been home in heaven for 18+ years now. I wonder what it is like. It is like something brand new every “morning”, just as our Father’s mercies are new every morning? Is it possible to get tired of seeing and experiencing what heaven holds? I suspect such is not the case!
On Saturday, the day before Father’s day, I took my camera to an old cemetery in Atlanta to capture some images. Yet the image that sticks with me wasn’t one capture by a digital sensor, but by the sensor of my heart. As I walked along the rows and plots of ground holding the earthly remains of so many, some were adorned with sculptures or other artwork and were beautiful and thought provoking. But the image that struck me the most were simple words across the top of numerous grave markers: Father. A simple two syllable word but it says so much. Much more than contributing DNA is required to truly be a father.
As I walked among the grave markers, I was hundreds of miles away from my father’s resting place. Yet it was as if he walked beside me. Each stone marked, “Father” brought him closer in my heart and mind, his footsteps echoing in my ears. And I welcomed his presence.
I cannot imagine not having a father such as I was blessed to have. And as I walked along thinking of my father and what a fine man and dad he was, I wondered what my children will think of me when my name is carved into a stone. What will others think when the name of Galen Dalrymple falls on their ears or worms its way into their memories?
And then I’d come across a tombstone for a young child who obviously died before their parents. The parental pain must be and seem unbearable. But I happens. And fathers walk among the tombstones and see the names of their sons and daughters carved into the cold stone. And fathers grieve and weep for they are helpless to do anything to bring the beloved child back to life.
Our Father has walked and walks the world over and sees His children dead in sin. Only our Father is not powerless. He enters into the grave and takes us by the hand and raises us up to a new life, an eternal life. He will one day raise my father from his earthly grave…and He will raise me, too. Because of our Father, I will see my father again…and we will rejoice.
PRAYER: I think you, Lord, for giving me the father you did, and for being my Father now. Please tell my father that we are all okay and how much I missed him on Father’s Day! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.