It is my Dad’s birthday.
Yes, 89 years old today. Still in good health and able to get out and about.
Looking younger than his years and sharp mentally, he takes one day as it comes giving me a living example of the way to age.
Years ago a story I had written was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad. It’s a memory that shines brightly for me today.
I was about fifteen at the time. Longing for something but I didn’t quite know what.
You know the feeling.
My Dad noticed my quiet seriousness and asked me privately about it.
“I don’t know,” I remember saying “but maybe if I could play in the band like my brother. ( He was two years older) And go to the football games. Maybe it would help.”
“Well what instrument would you like to play?”
“The flute. I always wanted to play the flute.”
“Would it help if we bought you a flute?” Now this was a time when money was in short supply and my parents were needing to carefully manage their finances.
“Yes but uh..” I couldn’t believe the question. Couldn’t take it in.
Faster than you could think my Dad had me in the car and on our way to the music store.
When we entered the large storeroom filled with instruments of every size and shape imaginable my eyes were immediately drawn to a beautiful shiny Gemeinhardt flute displayed on the counter.
“Could you use this?” my Dad asked walking over to examine it.
I couldn’t believe my ears.
“Could you learn to play this?” he asked again looking at me. “Take some lessons and play in the band?”
He smiled while I choked back tears.
I nodded my head and before you knew it the flute was paid for and we were on our way home.
I’ll never forget it. The suddenness of it all. The grace outpoured. A Father’s love.
I did work hard to learn to play in the band and even though I never got really good, it was good enough to play in the marching bank at the football games.
Still have that flute today and every once in a while I take it out and play a trill or two.
I really was surprised that day so long ago and deeply touched.
Isn’t that just how God loves to step into our lives sometimes and shower us.
Yes, sometimes when we least expect it He gives us a tangible sign of His forever Love.
That we never forget.
Rather we treasure for the rest of our lives.