This is dedicated to all the wonderful loving fathers out there, who have given everything that was in themselves to make certain their children thrived. Thank you from a daughter and a member of the human race for standing up to the plate and doing the hard work necessary to shape a child into a productive adult. God Bless you all richly. I understand Father’s day is not until the 21st of June, after asking my sister, but I had already prayed for inspiration and this is what the Lord gave to me.

“Please, please, please…Daddy,
Just once more?” His
daughter begged. This
was always the case when
something fun or enjoyable
was afoot. He looked
into his daughter’s sleepy
eyes and relented.

“Just once more then you
must go to sleep!” He put all
the firmness and authority
he could into the statement
but his heart became mush
when she awarded him
a broad smile.

By the second page of
dramatic voices and
thrilling side-effects,
courtesy of his imagination,
his daughter’s eyes were
closed up tight. He softened his
tone in gradients until not a sound
did he utter then backed out of the room
with the utmost care so as not to set off a noisy
toy or trip over the dog.

Years pass by more quickly than he
could have ever imagined. Descending
the staircase, each step saw another year expire.
A familiar sound reached his ears
as he walked into the kitchen.
“…but that’s not fair Mom!”
“Daddy, you tell her that I am
old enough and responsible enough
to go out on my first date this weekend,
please, please, please, Daddy?”
He stood there shell-shocked,
‘Did my little girl just say, date?’ he thought
in horror. Glancing up at his wife, he saw
his own resolve reflected in her eyes. He
could also tell by the flushed cheeks of both
his wife and daughter that this conversation
had been going on for too long.

“First…” he began as he realigned
his gaze with his now 13 1/2 year old
daughter. “…you do not refer to your
mother as ‘her’ or ‘she’, for she
is your mother. Second, you are
not old enough to date and you
will not be going out this weekend.”

His daughter was about to retort with
her argument when she glanced between
her Mom and Dad and saw the battle
was over. They were in agreement.
He watched as her eyes filled with tears,
“I hate you! I hate you both!” she
screamed as she ran from the room.

Each word struck their hearts like
a jagged dagger. He took his
wife in his arms as they heard
the door of her bedroom slam.
They would deal with that
behavior later when everyone
was calm.

He glanced at his watch for
the hundredth time,
straightened his tie and
stuck himself with
the boutonniere pin, again.
Why was he all thumbs today?
He thought as he approached his
daughter’s door calling for his wife.
“Daddy, don’t come in! I do not
want you to see me yet!” yelled
his daughter. His wife appeared from
beyond the door looking beautiful, yet
sporting red eyes. “I can’t get this damn
flower on!” hissing his irritation after he
had kissed her and told her how lovely she looked.
She knowingly smiled and took to the task with
deft hands. She told him to go downstairs
because their daughter wanted to “make an
entrance” for him. He flashed a half-crooked smile,
which always meant his emotions were at the brim.
Twenty more anxious minutes passed as
he checked his watch every 30 seconds.
He hollered up the steps announcing
that they were going to be late.
Great relief washed over him as
he heard the door knob turn. His
wife emerged first and hurriedly
descended the steps as her husband
informed her of traffic patterns
and time schedules but he lost
all words and thoughts as his
daughter stood at the crest of the
staircase in her white flowing gown.
Suddenly, he had a million thoughts where
there had been none just a half second before.
Not a single one made it to his lips until his wife
gave him a firm nudge.
“You look beautiful, honey”, he
managed with a voice full of emotion.
Transfixed, he watched as
she floated down the steps and out the
door. How did this happen? How
did my little girl become a woman?
“Daddy, come on! We are going to
be late.” they gave each
other that half-crooked smile
signaling no more words were possible.

He enjoyed his years as grandpa, of
seeing his little girl grow into the
woman he always knew was possible
but could never have imagined
her becoming all those years ago. Of
course, she would always be ‘his little girl’
but the innocent laughter of children filled
the home with joy again, on occasion. His
place in her life had changed but it was no
less important, for he was her hero, he was
her rock. Today was different, somehow.

“Daddy…please, please, please Daddy…
don’t go yet”, she begged in an emotionally
worn voice. He opened his eyes
to see her sitting on the edge of the bed
holding his hand gently in her own. He
gave her that half-crooked smile then said,
“This time Pumpkin…it’s not my call. Our
Father is calling me home. To tell you the
truth, I miss your mom and I am
so tired.” He said barely above a whisper
but each word was filled with love. He brushed the
fresh cascade of tears from her cheek.
“Daddy, what am I going to do without you? I
love you so much” she cried.
“I love you with all my heart and I am
grateful our Lord saw fit to give you
to my care, even if it was only
for a small time. He blessed me greatly
and I did not deserve it but he gave
me you and when I get up there,
I am going to thank him with
overwhelming joy,” he professed.
“Oh Daddy, I love you so much.”

He smiled weakly but his heart
was grinning from ear to ear. Looking
up at his son-in-law he said,
“Its your job to take care of my
little girl now. You love her through
everything, you protect her from all
harm and you stand up for her
when the world is against her. You are
her only hero now, her only Earthly guardian.
You pray for strength as it is a tough
job but it is the only job I ever loved.” Tears
streamed down his Son-in-laws face
with renewed vigor as he replied with the
same promise he had made the father on
his wedding day, “I will love, protect,
and honor your daughter for every moment
in time the Lord blesses me. I will be her
hero, I will be her champion, I will protect her from all
Earthly harm as long as I draw breath into this body.”

With that promise reaffirmed, the father
gave the younger man a half-crooked
smile for the very first time.
The daughter felt the strength leave her
father’s hand.

“Daddy…Daddy… I love you always.”


Stepping into the woods,
the threshold between what some
termed reality and illusion,
requires the sacrifice
of what is accepted as sanity.

She glanced at her bare feet.
The ground was soft and lush
but covered with a light frost.
The heat from her foot
melts a growing pattern
from the center outward.

Glancing behind reveals
a mirror of blackness just
like that standing before her.
Looking above to find starlight
gives nothing.

A small flash far to
her right catches the edge of her vision.
Another, closer…then two or three
illuminate over there. One after another
small flashes began giving the forest light.
Lightening bugs! There are thousands
of lightening bugs creating
a cathedral dome of dancing light.

The lens of her eyes reflect each
point of light creating an otherworldly
glow, if there was anyone
there to notice.

The fragrances played
with her senses filling her being with
the cycle of new life and death. Since this
was a summer forest, it was dense
and filled with life but that life came at a price.
New sprouts of life were beginning everywhere.
Buds on the trees, already so full she could not imagine
where another leaf could fit but it did. Each new life depended
upon the decay of those that came in the earlier seasons.

Some felt saddened with the
realization of death’s necessity
but she understood that this
juncture where life ends and
we perceive death begins is
the true illusion. It is the madness
humanity accepts. She knew the
decay and death of the old, weary, or sick
was only the beginning of eternity.

That is what brought her to the
forest on this summer night. The moss
and lichen filled the air with their woody scent.
She inhaled deeply relishing in every experience.
Never before, had her senses allowed her to take
everything in that was around her. This was marvelous
and she enjoyed it thoroughly.

Taking a few more steps forward, eyes mesmerized
by the dancing lights, the smells so thickened
the air that she was able to taste them!
Listening, intently, her ears picked up the sounds
of the night creatures running about collecting their meals
or meeting up with a friend to create new life. She
always appreciated nature and found beauty and awe
in the smallest of things that God offered to all
humanity. Few recognized these things and fewer
still saw them as gifts. That thought
made her momentarily sad because
she knew too many who walked with head
down focused only on their
wants and desires.

It is folly, to be certain.
For, she knew that
it was only when you dared to
look beyond yourself that you
would be able to find
the creator waiting for you.

The next step she took erased her
pain forever. The one after that
claimed every tear she had ever shed.
Her final step released her from her
Earthly bounds. She looked back
at her empty body and for the first time
felt pity for it. She had hated when in it but
now she understood it had to be broken
in order to work properly. It was only
through that brokenness that she
was able to show the love of Christ
to all who would look up long enough
to see her as she truly was and not how
the world defined her.

Suddenly, light radiated from all spaces both big and small
until everything was awash in brilliance void in shape and size.
His silhouette began forming in solidity as
he walked to her. Recognizing him as she would an old friend,
She dropped to her knee before her beloved savior.
Gently, he tipped her head to meet his eyes.

“Well done, my daughter. Welcome
home.” He said with words so full of
love that tears of joy streamed down her cheeks.
She had never known such joy or happiness until
now, when her purpose was both revealed and fulfilled
in a single phrase.

Taking her hand, he lifted her to her feet and then
stepped aside to reveal all who had began
eternity before her. Everyone she ever loved was
there. Her savior kissed her cheek gently then

“Go to them, they have waited a long time for you. Your
work is complete.”

Each step she took towards her loved ones
caused the memories of the forest and
the life she had beyond it
to fade from consciousness.
There are no tears in heaven, no pain
no sadness, nothing evil could exist.
She felt only joy and wonder as she
reunited with family and friends.

This was eternity and she finally knew happiness,
peace, true love, and safety.
There were no fears to be held even
knowing of the coming battles,
for she knew her Father and Savior
had everything under control.
While she did not know what purpose
she would fulfill in eternity, it did not concern
her because everything was right
and good in the eyes of the Lord here, everything.

Hence, if you leave your life behind for just a little while
take care you do not cross the threshold before your time
has come. Do not worry; you will know when the journey must
begin and you will be aided in that journey. You are never alone even
when it seems you are in a very dark place, the Lord will always provide a glimmer
of light to lead you home. Just look up, open your eyes, and think
beyond yourself and you will be shown the spark of life you
have been gifted.