The role of dad changes as children mature into adulthood. Today my bond-strengthening opportunities with my daughters usually begin with a question, “Hey, Dad, can we…?” Oh, the joy of yet another project to plan and implement. Whether it is a shop episode, a home repair challenge, or a garden undertaking, I stand ready to help and share advice. I love investing time with these ladies as they navigate life.
Some years ago I worked with Amanda to create a garden space, a blank canvas, along the front of her property. She’d grown tired of the natural look left by the previous owner and wanted to make her own mark on the land. Amanda has tended that space, filled it with plants, and launched the curb appeal of her home into the stratosphere.
Alas, now that the garden is paying pleasurable benefits in floral beauty, Amanda is moving. Her garden and her sweat equity will benefit a new family. And another “Hey, Dad” event has been triggered. “Hey, Dad, can we move the garden? Will plants stay alive in pots for a few months?”
Whoop! Whoop! Dad jumps into the phone booth, stretches on the tights, grabs the cape and…bummer. I could not find a phone booth.
We conducted a garden survey to determine which plants we might divide and which offered accessible starts that could be removed without damage to the mother plant. I captured notes using my Android smartphone which is quickly becoming an indispensable part of most of my projects. Next I gathered a collection of empty pots, loaded my tools, and headed out for Operation Garden Move.
We harvested the future garden and transplanted it piece by piece into pots. But now what? With the hectivities (hectic activities) of a household move the potted plants might be overlooked. I offered to transport the plant collection to my garden where I could care for them through the hot summer. In the fall, after Amanda has settled into her new digs, I can deliver the collection, and even help with installation. She was delighted with that solution.
I’m a dad. It’s what we do. The rank of Dad opens opportunities to shower love and kindness on our children no matter their age. Being Dad means we can go the extra mile, and we’re delighted to do so. I learned that mindset from my heavenly Father. Here’s what He practices.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11 NASB
Imagine giving a hungry child who has asked for bread or fish a snake or a stone. We learned the line “God is good” in our formative years, but do we truly believe that is a statement of His character, an unfailing attribute? What about when we ask for A and He gives us B? Or He delays His response altogether? Is God still good? Those questions put our struggle into perspective, don’t they?
I have, I do, and I will say “no” to my girls. I examined Amanda’s climbing rose with its dagger-like thorns woven in and around the fence and suggested a fresh smaller rose might be better in the new location. She understood, and commented that at this moment she has no idea what trellis she would need or where it would stand since her house is new construction. That’s the mindset you and I and our children need with God. He knows best and has the bigger picture in mind. Trust that He is good by nature and the gifts He showers into our lives are the best for us.
He’s a Dad. It’s what He does.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!