By Lynn Moffett | PREVIEW Columnist
One of the many ways to come up with a subject to write on is to consider this phrase, “I was ... but now I am.” This isn’t that kind of story.
A common tale in our society goes something like this: I was a wonderful child, but I had a tragic upbringing and now I’m a murderer. Such a story is not my experience.
Now that I’ve told you what I’m not going to say, I can simply celebrate one of the blessings of my life — my daddy. I called him that ‘til the day he died.
Some are blessed and some are not. I was. “My dad showed me God” is a poem I wrote before I learned anything specific about writing. I’ve been told by real poets that it’s terrible. As I recall, one reviewer handed it back to me and said, “Uh huh.” A couple of these experts said, “It sounds like a greeting card.”
I took that hard. But guess what? When I gave it to Daddy one Father’s Day, he cried. I wasn’t a 4-year-old. I was a married woman in my early 20s. He didn’t cry because I was a little girl and this was my first try at writing poetry. He cried because what I wrote confirmed his success in his desire to raise godly children.
The Pagosa SUN, as a rule, doesn’t publish poetry, which means I can’t simply add that ode to this article. Nevertheless, I’m determined to celebrate this man — not for a Father’s Day column, but because it is a matter of faith. My faith.
When I was a little girl, I had a ghastly nightmare. We were driving along a road bordered by bluegrass and my brother’s head lay in that grass. I scrambled out of my room to find Daddy sitting in his easy chair as if waiting for me. He pulled me up on his lap. “Lynn-dee-Lou-Lou, if you tell me your dream, it won’t scare you anymore.”
Can you hear the lesson? Unlock your worst at the throne of a loving Father and he’ll forgive you and that awful thing is no longer a chain hanging around your neck, weighing you down.
Yes, sometimes Daddy didn’t “seem” loving at all. One day, probably while I was in fourth grade, I wanted to learn to play an instrument at school. The flyer stated the fee amount for renting one. I blithely went to school with the money in hand and chose the marimba — a huge wooden xylophone. I didn’t realize there wouldn’t be a fee for something too big to cart home. And there I was, all that money in hand. Yes, I kept it, went to the store and bought candy and coke I shared with friends. The thing is, when I was found out and Daddy spanked me, he cried as much as I did.
Can you hear the lesson? Our God is just. He will do what’s necessary to teach us how to walk uprightly even though it hurts his heart to do so. The lesson is, in this case, don’t be a thief and don’t be a liar.
As a grown, married woman with teenage children, when I wrote my first novel, my daddy read it before anybody else. It wasn’t a chore. He was honored by the opportunity. He praised it and encouraged me in every way he could. Here’s a secret: It was poorly written. He loved it anyway. To the extent that when my husband wouldn’t or couldn’t find the funds for me to pursue this new career, Daddy did. He wanted me to succeed. He bought me my first computer — floppy disk, DOS and all. Windows was still in the dream state.
What is the lesson, you might ask. He provided something I sorely needed to go forth in the direction he saw for me. One of the names of God is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.
I’ll share one last incident. These things happened from day one until Alzheimer’s did its best to destroy my brilliant father. (One of his inventions is in the Smithsonian.)
As a family, we didn’t believe in divorce. It was never a topic of discussion, but we all understood, to the point that I feared God wouldn’t love me anymore when I divorced.
My daddy stood right beside me. No condemnation, no judgment. He simply held my hand. I doubt I need to point out the lesson. If you’re still wondering, pick up your Bible and read Romans 8:28. It starts, “And we know ...”
Can you see how this is a matter of faith? I was blessed. My dad showed me God.
This column may include both fiction and nonfiction, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com.