Fear held my heart in a clenched fist when Earl introduced me to his father, Tucker. My past with my own father had already cast a dark shadow over our meeting.
Tucker, a lawyer and a judge, had the power to tear my life apart. I barely spoke to him.
When I started writing about my childhood, I asked Tucker to read a rough draft. Reading about my father’s attacks baffled him. He said, “I don’t understand how a father could do such things?”
That confession changed how Tucker and I communicated. He was a man my own father’s age who I grew to love.
At some point, I began to call Tucker “Dad”. Earl and I frequently traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to visit Dad and share a meal with the rest of the family.
I loved Dad and still do. I cherish the memories of talking with him alone. He often called me in the middle of the day just to talk a few minutes. Soon, I found myself thinking of him, and so I’d call him.
I saw Dad three days before God took him home. He held my hand and told me again, “I don’t understand why a father would do what yours did.” He followed with, “I love you, Berta.”
After Earl and I prayed with Dad, I attempted to pull my hand back but Dad held it tight. He wanted to sing before Earl and I left his bedside to go home. He led us in the hymn Blest Be the Tie That Binds.
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Dad sealed our relationship through this verse. In the years we had, he touched my heart with the love of an earthly father.
Dad had worried I wouldn’t receive my birthday card before he died. When it came I called him one last time, “Thank you, Dad. I love you.”
Because Tucker loved me with all my history, I believe my Heavenly Father loves me even more.
“Happy All Saints’ Sunday!”
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1,2 NIV).
Friends, please remember to share this devotion? People are being touched around the world for God.