Daddy was a Pastor, and he was perfect for that work. Like the father I knew at home, Daddy was caring, steady, dependable, responsible, and righteous. I say righteous in the best sense of that word, for he had a passion for right, and right guided his decisions, whether those were spiritual, social, domestic, or financial. He tried in our family, in the church, and in the community to “do the right thing”.
Daddy loved my mother and was extravagant in appreciating her. He always said God ordained for them to be together because she had all of the gifts that he lacked and together they were an effective and formidable team. He was thorough and loved research and study; she was instinctive and creative. He was social and loved to experience fellowship; she knew how to do everything—and I mean everything—with beauty and flair. She could pull off a happening! Both of them loved people and were generous with their time, our home, and what finances they had. They both loved deep philosophical concepts, were thrilled with new insights, and enjoyed nothing better than a challenging discussion. Our dining room table was the place to be if you wanted to learn, be challenged, or hear some great stories.
To this day, I think of going to the phone to call them to come across the creek to our family room to hear the newest song we have written, especially if it contains a deep theological truth. If I had one wish, it would be that they could be in our life for a day or two to experience what God has done with our songs and to hear what our children have created since they left us when the kids were young. Maybe God has made provision for them to at least hear some of the praise and rejoicing that has been sent heavenward from concerts and from the private hearts of believers as they worshipped through the music.
I always thought my dad was the strongest person I ever knew, that nothing could get him down. But one time in his life I saw him almost lose his faith and his joy. He was in a very discouraging pastorate fraught with problems. He couldn’t seem to see any change taking place in the lives of people he poured his heart out to teach and lead. It was a real wake-up call to me to learn that good and Godly men were vulnerable to discouragement and even despair. I knew I had been one of many in my father’s life that just assumed he was impervious to defeat. I realized after I was more mature, that everyone needs encouragement and soul support.
Out of that experience came a lyric to which Benjy wrote music and Amy recorded on the CD Some Things Never Change. The song was titled “My Disheartened Old Hero” and maybe it is a good song for Father’s Day—to remind all of us who are fortunate enough to have had a great dad to say so! And to be specific about all of the things we appreciate about our “righteous” fathers.