Reflections on My Dad
It is a profoundly sad thing when your dad doesn't come home from war, because he gave his life for his country. It is also a great tragedy when your dad goes to war but a stranger comes home in his place. He has the same name, body, age, etc, but he is a changed man, in an unpleasant way.
It took many years before my dad finally came home. By then, he was a grandfather. I remember hearing my mom say to my dad as he was playing with my children, "See what you missed." We finally started communicating.
One day he invited me and my wife to a campground in Florida. My children were already out of our home by then. He asked me to go with him to meet the owner of the campground. When my dad introduced me, he put his arm around me, hugging me firmly and said, “This is my son! He’s a Baptist minister, and I’m proud of him!” I was shocked. That was the first time in almost forty years that he had laid his hand on me with affection or said anything complimentary concerning me. From that point on, I made it a practice to call him every week to check on him. My dad had never given me an opportunity to share the gospel with him, but I was able to share the gospel and he opened his heart to the Lord. From that time until his death, his life was completely changed.
During his final days of life here on earth, I was able to minister to my dad in a way that he had never been able to minister to me as I was growing up. This was God's gift of healing that bonded us together as father and son. I had always dreamed of this, but I could not have it until that point in my life.
As I look back, I learned a great deal from this and realize that these things made me stronger, wiser, and more compassionate to those who are hurting, lost, and confused. This experience helped prepare me for the ministry in a way that no formal education could ever do.
I miss my dad but if things were different, I would not have been the same man I am now. God's wisdom is greater than any understanding I have, and I have to accept this and use it for His glory. Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Amen!!!!
In His Grace,
Pastor Ernest F. Brodie Sr.