By Lucy Johnson
He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea “Quiet! Be still!” ~ Mark 4:39
Can you feel the waves coming over the side of the boat? How can Jesus sleep as his disciples battle the violent storm? In their anguish, they turn to him, wake him, and he calms the water.
When I think of Jesus in the boat, I think of my own father. Growing up, Dad calmed many storms for me. When I was in the middle of some tumultuous times, he was always there. Even after he passed, I distinctly remember calling on his intercession and guidance, and he provided time after time.
I often write about my mother because the older I get, the more I identify with her, but my father was the rock in our family. He was a quiet, hard-working, faithful provider – a man of few words, but those words were powerful.
Lessons Learned from Dad
Born in 1916 on a farm in northern Michigan, my Dad dropped out of college at age 21 to support his parents. When WWII started, he became a pilot for the Army Air Corps and flew paratroopers for D-Day. As I was learning my prayers, Dad shared that he had prayed the Memorare every day during the war so that he and his men would return safely home. His story inspired me to make this prayer my “go-to” prayer especially in times of worry and anxiety.
My father told me to put God first. Give to God, and the rest will fall into place. Through his words and deeds, he taught me and shaped me into the person I have become. I always thought he was larger than life. It was difficult to see him grow old and frail in the later years of his long life. One special way that my father lives on is that I named my first-born son, Glenn Charles, after him.
Father Day Memories
Some of my favorite Father Day memories include when asked what he would like as a present for Father’s Day, he would always respond, “peace and quiet.” Being the father of 7 children in 11 years (one son and six daughters), I can understand.
Other years, on Father Day’s weekend, he would go on a silent retreat. I always found that funny, as it seemed that being silent wasn’t as challenging for him as it would be for my mother.
Today, we celebrate Father’s Day. In many countries, such as my son-in-law’s Honduras, Father’s Day is celebrated on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph. Thank you, God, for giving me my father and for all fathers who follow your Son. Place them under the protection and guidance of St. Joseph as they attempt to calm the storms of life and charter a steady boat.
That all fathers, especially those in our lives, may be granted strength and courage to lead their families toward a deeper love for Jesus
Christ; and turn themselves to the example of St. Joseph in their lives.
Call to Action
Spend some time today praying for all the fathers in your life, thanking God for them and asking for special blessings upon them.
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