My Father by Mary Kim
By Mary Kim Westervelt Gray
I have a picture that I love of my father, my brother, and me. I am about three-years-old. I am sitting snuggled against him, as he works on a kite. You can clearly discern how much I love being in my daddy’s presence.
I have been blessed with a father who truly represents our Heavenly Father. My dad has modeled attributes of God, such as lovingkindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and integrity, throughout my lifetime.
My father grew up during the depression, so he has always understood the value of money and hard work. He worked well into his seventies for the pure joy of using his mind and contributing to society. He modeled that work is a good thing. As a result of Dad’s influence, I often pray Psalm 90:16, “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands.”
The thing that I admire most about my father was how he dealt with my mother’s death. My dad didn’t stop living and shut himself off after my mother died. If anything, he used his grief to propel himself into a new chapter of life. He volunteered at church with the preschoolers and spent extra time with my nephew and niece. My father came to Dallas for each of my birthdays after my mother’s death. He began to play the role of both father and mother to me. I think God is like this—He also plays the mother role as he states in Isaiah 49:15: “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.”
My father encouraged me to buy a house when I was still single. He showed faith in me and then helped me beautify my home by making stained glass windows for it. I sense my father’s gentle spirit and his artistic nature every time I walk into our entrance hallway and see the stained glass windows that he so beautifully crafted. My father was pleased when I married late in life and has been very supportive of my marriage. When my husband and I adopted two children, my father rejoiced in the “grandchildren of his old age” as he referred to them on one occasion. My father’s encouragement can best be summarized by a birthday note he wrote me in 2007, “Happy Birthday, Mary Kim, I wonder why God from the many possibilities, blessed me with you. I think of your childhood, adult years, and your motherhood and see each as its own blessing. Love you, Dad.”
My father knows and loves Jesus intimately, and through that relationship, he has enriched and blessed my life. I thank God every day for the earthly father he chose to give me.
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