Almost every Saturday for the past three years, my father has walked through my front door for a weekly visit. We sat on the couch, drank tea and chatted about our lives.
Two Saturdays ago, my father walked through my door as usual. Only it wasn’t so usual because it was the first time in six weeks that he could drive himself to my house. It felt right and normal again.
Then, last Saturday, I walked through my father’s hospital door, sat by his bed and chatted about how he had lost the ability to walk. As we parted, he held my hand and said, “I’m sorry I won’t be able to walk through your front door again.” Since we were focused on walking, I was hopeful we could find other means to make sure Dad made it through the door.
The next day—Father’s Day—I was in church singing the words to a favorite song, Good Good Father* and hearing the Holy Spirit speak to my breaking heart:
I've heard a thousand stories of what they think you're like But I've heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night And you tell me that you're pleased And that I' never alone Eva, you are not alone, I am pleased with you You're a good good father It's who you are Eva, I am your true Father even after your earthly father is gone. I am good. And I'm loved by you It's who I am Eva, I love you and will take care of you. Because you are perfect in all of your ways to us Eva, my ways and timing are perfect.
As I was singing and weeping, my earthly father walked through his Heavenly Father’s front door. My father was right! He will never again walk through my front door. But while we were focusing on my physical home, God was focusing on his eternal home.
Oh, it's love so undeniable I can hardly speak Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think As you call me deeper still Into love, love, love Eva, my love and peace are here for you. Come deeper into my love, for I am your Good Father.
And now today, this Saturday, we celebrate my father’s life, legacy and testimony. We honor him and put his earthly body—the one that ran at full steam for 92 years and then just petered out—to rest. But his soul, his spirit—my real father—is chatting about his life with his Real Father. The same Good Father that loves me.
*Songwriters: Anthony Brown / Joseph Patrick Martin Barrett, Good Good Father lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group