Thursday, November 10, 2011

Imperfect Perfection

Dad on a Sunday morning with his Bible and my brother
(not the way I picture him - but a cool picture anyway)

The other day, a friend of mine asked me to suggest some hymns because her grandmother had passed away. I spent a morning thumbing through our hymnal recalling one song after the other. Peace overwhelmed as I the tunes played through my mind and words lifted from my tongue. At times, tears won out at the mixture of sadness and joy as thoughts of Dad crept in.

For a time, Dad was the song leader at our church. I remember him sitting in the pew, hymnal in hand, marking the songs he wanted the congregation to sing together. The picture of him standing at the pulpit, dressed in his suit, directing us with his hands, reminds me how worship was more enjoyable because my daddy was leading us.

I began writing this morning to talk about the way my friend’s request reminded me how much I crave time alone with my God. Singing hymns reminded me of the fact that I need to do more than just spend time consistently reading the Bible and lifting my requests to my Lord in prayer. I need to continually spend time worshipping and acknowledging the Almighty for who He is.

In mentioning my dad, I am struck with the fact that he left me this example. Dad was not a perfect man. At times, I struggle with pain that was left behind because it cannot be remedied with a face-to-face conversation. And then God gives me the gift of a memory; a memory that floods my heart and wells up tears and breaks through my pain. No, dad wasn’t perfect; but in his imperfection, he led by example. When I think of someone who had awe and respect and reverence for God, I see my dad’s emotion-filled face in my mind.
What kind of example will I unknowingly leave behind for my kids? I know they will remember those moments where I screw up. Sadly, the faults blind us and make it nearly impossible to recall the positive. I’m thankful that God continues to heal my soul with memories that impacted who I am today. Dad led songs because there was a need; not because he wanted to be center stage. He was just a man who loved God and wanted others to share in that love. When he talked about God and the gratefulness welled up in his throat, causing his chin to quiver, I’m certain he had no idea the impact he was making on his youngest daughter. And yet today, God uses it as a balm for my wounded heart. My daddy was an imperfect man who loved God and desired to please Him. (On a side note: I love to imagine him in his perfected stated with Jesus.)

I’m glad my dad wasn’t perfect. It gives me hope for myself. Maybe my girls will catch me in a vulnerable moment and hold onto that memory to bring their hearts comfort some day. Today, I choose to look at God’s creation and stand in awe because my daddy did. I will laugh and thank God for my children because my dad thoroughly enjoyed them, too. As we enter into the holidays, the pain in my heart will draw me to lean on the Truth we are celebrating because of his example. I will remember that he was a gift to draw me to The Father of us all. And I will stand in grateful awe with my eyes on the hope of Heaven and the day we will all be rid of our impurities with Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tristi. This was beautiful and something so close to my heart. My Dad is well, and still there are things that cannot be remedied by a face-to-face conversation because of our inadequacies. But my Dad too was a man who draws me to God, and has done. So thank you for letting me cry with you.

    I found your blog from a comment you left on mine, aeons ago. So, thank you.