Monday, June 21, 2004

The Unsent Letter/Post Father's Day

I enjoyed my day pretty well. I miss my dad. He has been gone for 12 years now. His death was very untimely, and very freaky. He was in his home, asleep in his chair, and a drunk driver crashed through his home killing both men. Apparently, Dad never knew what hit him. Living with the untimeliness is one thing; there is another issue that Father's Day gives rise to: unresolved issues with Dad.

You see, we had no relationship. He bailed on us when I was 10, and we didn't see him for a long time. When he entered our lives again, it was hard to build a relationship because he was always moving. He lived 1000 miles away when he died. Just prior to his death, my sisters and I spent some real quality time with him. It was so much fun. We laughed and had a great time. When we parted ways again, we all agreed that we needed more times like this. For the first time in many years, I was his son again. I wrote him a long letter telling him about me. I told him of my conversion to Christ and calling into the ministry. I talked about my wife and how we were trying to have a baby. I poured my heart out about all the time we had lost and how much I wanted us to be close. I sealed the letter and placed it in a drawer to mail it later.

One month later, February 14, 1992, he was dead. After the funeral, I returned home from Wisconsin (where he lived) and tried to resume my life. At work that next day, I was going through some stuff and found the letter I had written him after our last visit. I had forgot to send it. Now he would never read it.

I have three beautiful children. I am a Daddy. They go all out for Father's Day every year. It is priceless. But, oh, what I wouldn't give just to be able to call my Dad and wish him a Happy Father's Day.

Monday, June 07, 2004

To be real

I have been a Christian, according to the Biblical definition (John 3:16), since 1983. I have been in the ministry since 1996. In that time span, I have been deluged with words like, liberal, conservative, moderate, pastor-led, purpose-driven, program-driven, evengelistic, charismatic, evangelical, right wing, left wing, and on and on it goes. In all of this, I have made a decision...to just be real.

When I would tell people I am a pastor, right away, the whole mood of the conversation would change. Suddenly, they would be nervous and try to censor themselves. What I discovered is that many believers enjoy seeing the heathen fumble at the mouth in their presence. I didn't like it. I wanted people to know that they could be themself around me, and that I was not someone that needed to be impressed. When people saw my tattoo, my earring, my hairstyle, my pickup truck, my imperfect kids, etc., they began to realize that I was real and easy to talk to. From the pulpit, I'm told, I spoke TO people, and not OVER them.

For this I have been removed from two pastorates and a marriage.