the father’s encouragement


The pangs of grief returned that morning.

After three days of relief, of family, of brothers and sisters, of peace, rest, comfort and all the familiar quirks and customs, it was time to leave my parent’s house.

My father saw the tears.  I tried to explain.

But it’s hard to explain.  Where do you start?  How do you cry about God’s works and mysterious ways of provision, communicate the blessing of heartache?

“Be faithful,” he says.

Before we left he gathered us at the door.  He prayed the common father prayer uttered for as long as I can remember, “Lord, encamp your angels round about them…”

And then he said it again–

An exhortation to be faithful, to serve gladly in the place where God has called us, to love long and be Jesus for the people as long as God would have us do.

“In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

We walked out the door, ready and not ready to load up the angel surrounded van with our children.   I paused and turned around, my heart still heavy, my head still hanging.

Dad stood at the doorway.

And that’s when he said it–the word that brought the smile.  The words I’d been waiting all along for him to say:  “Now’s the time to be about our Father’s business!”

“We’ve got all of eternity for everything else!”



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