Tonight I want to give a shout out to my Dad on this his 74th birthday.
I enjoy looking at pictures from when he was young and envisioning the type of boy he was.
He was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Canada around 10 years of age (I think). I can’t quite imagine the shock to a young boys world when he lived under the sounds and terror of war in one land and after a long journey by boat had to acclimate to a new land, new language and new culture. But I am confident that these experiences shaped my Dad into a man who understands calling, conviction, people from all different cultures, leadership and maybe most of all has a solid confidence that God is on His throne and truly holds the whole world in His hands.
I am grateful that my Dad has hardly spent any time struggling with illness or disease, and yet in this past year, I know he experienced deep loss in my brothers tragic death. I am grateful that my Dad has been a leader of integrity and yet I know he has seen deep struggles in leadership over many years. I am thankful my Dad continues to give of himself and I hope and pray that in this 74th year he will experience great return for all he has generously given.
This past week I was able to listen to my Dad preach in a local congregation. I was struck by how easy it was to listen to him. His sermon was delivered through stories and God’s word was clearly communicated. I remember him saying recently that the older he gets, the less sure he is of things. I love that about my Dad, he is honest and clear about the mystery of God and life. And yet again, what he knows for sure is that God is on His throne. There is an odd comfort to me in embracing the mystery of so much and yet anchoring in that very solid truth.
My Dad is a private man. He holds his joys and sorrows close to his heart. He speaks thoughtfully and with reservation, but almost always with kindness and/or wisdom. I am grateful that as I have matured, I have come to understand, appreciate and love my Dad more deeply with every passing day. As a single woman, he remains the most important man in my life and I am full of gratitude. Happy Birthday Dad. May this year bring you a continued sense of God’s presence and comfort. May this year bring you continued good health and meaningful experiences with people all over the world. May this year be a year where you continue to experience the embrace of all of us who love you!