Do you remember how you ran and jumped and raced around the yard playing Hide and Go Seek? When you were IT and covered your eyes, did you peek between your fingers so you could catch your brother or sister or your best friend? Did you laugh and laugh when you did?
Did you find things in the yard to make toys with? Do you remember an old bicycle rim that you guided with a stick as you rolled it and rolled it around the yard?
Did you pitch marbles? How many did you have? So many colours. So many games.
Speaking of colours, was your kite red or blue, or all sorts of colours as it rose higher and higher in the sky? Do you remember a day that it went so high that you ran out of string?
Did you name your dog Zorro or Rover or Samson or Eve?
Was your cat’s name Calvin or Kitty? Did it ever have fleas?
What was your favourite: cricket or tennis, football or soccer, field hockey or ice hockey, basketball or golf, go-carts or lacrosse?
Did you have a special baseball bat or wear a cowboy hat? Did you go fishing on the river or sail toy boats, or anything that would float? Did you float when you bathed in the river?
Climbing trees and building forts; playing with other kids; being outside, in the house only to sleep; visiting in and out of the open doors at your friends and neighbours homes; eating lunch or dinner wherever you were as an extended part of the family you were with; the sweet smell of bread baking in time for the start of Sabbath, warm from the oven with the butter on it thick and melting. Ah, memories!
But now, what about chores? Did you try to get out of doing them? The moment you had a chance to get outside, were you gone? Is it every boy’s desire to get out of doing chores?
I know for some boys it was three months of school in the city, but then it was vacation on the farm in the country. Of course, it wasn’t all play there. There were sheep and goats and cattle to graze and water, but it was a whole month away from school. School in the city for 3 months, but then a whole month on the farm in the country!
Dads, were you more excited about action than about words, about running and climbing and tumbling than sitting? And laughing? Did you laugh a lot?
Thinking about Dads as boys gives us another view of God. Dads, you are made in God’s image. How full of curiosity and creativity, energy and laughter, joy and persistence; how full of life God must be to have created little boys!
On a day when we celebrate Dads, we know that some of you won’t see your children.
Some of you aren’t living in your family’s home. You’re separated from family life by painful relationships, or illness.
Some of you are soldiers deployed to countries far away on land, or on the seas.
Some of you are first responders or health care providers. Some of you will have other responsibilities that will keep you away from home.
Dads, our hope for you, whether you will be able to be home or not, is that you believe that you are loved. Your Heavenly Father’s heart is filled with love for you!
No matter what the circumstances, or what words may have been spoken, you are loved!
You are loved, and you are being prayed for. Whether your need is for safety and soon return; for relationships restored; or health made well, God is being asked to meet your need. He is being asked to comfort you. He is being asked to pour His perfect peace into your life, not just today, but always.
Dads, you’re precious to us. Your love for your children is precious beyond words. We see God’s image in you, from the running and tumbling and laughter of boyhood, to the way you care for your wives and children, and to the care you exhibit as you serve your Lord.
May God bless you for your faithfulness, and may you always remember: you are loved today and always! Amen.