On Father’s Day, and our Father

Chuck Tabor - Contributing columnist

One night a wife found her husband standing over their newborn baby’s crib. Silently she watched him.

As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, skepticism. He would stand back, shake his head and say, “Amazing,” while smiling from ear to ear.

Touched by his unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, her eyes glistened as she slipped her arms around him.

“A penny for your thoughts,” she whispered in his ear.

“Isn’t it amazing!” he replied. “When you take the time and really look close, how can anyone make a crib like that for only $45.99!”

Ah, Fatherhood! It is true – Dads tend to look at life so differently. Yes, they tend to look at the crib and the way it is made – but they really do see the baby – too!

In fact, occasionally, they even make up for their seemingly constant oversight by taking the kids to … McDonald’s!

One Father’s Day, a few years ago, at a McDonald’s in southern Indiana, a regular customer in the drive-through lane noticed something behind her.

“She saw a dad in the van behind her,” said onlooker Hunter Hostetler. “He had like four kids in the car, he had ordered a bunch of happy meals, two Quarter Pounders, a Big Mac meal and some other stuff. She was like, ‘I’m going to pay for the father behind me, and I want you to tell him Happy Father’s Day.’”

However, touched by the kindness, the dad in turn decided to pay for a couple of cars behind him. Then it was 10 cars, then 20, and then over 100. From around 8:30 p.m. to midnight on Father’s Day, the “pay-it-forwards” kept coming, ending at 167 at the store’s closing.

“I thought it was pretty amazing,” said Abby Smith, who was a customer at the McDonald’s that night. “You don’t see a lot of pay-it-forwards anymore.”

But “pay-it forwards” are also good for Dads as well. Before he deployed to Afghanistan, Army Staff Sgt. Philip Gray paid it forward for his 7-year-old daughter. He sat down and wrote 270 messages for her —one for each day he would be away. He wanted to make sure his daughter knew that she was always on his mind.

His notes for Rosie encouraged her to do her best at school and excel in her activities and hobbies. His wife, Kristen, said, “He was very big on feel-good words for her. He made sure to tell her how smart she was, and run fast in P.E., and things that would really make her happy.”

Philip Gray left their home on Oct. 7, 2019, and while he was gone, Kristen put his notes into Rosie’s lunchbox. Some of them included doodles like snowmen or pumpkins to represent holidays missed.

He returned on Aug. 8, three days before Rosie’s birthday.

“Now that I’m home … she asks me, ‘Dad are you going leave me and mom a note?’” Philip said. “I say ‘Yes bug, I will leave you a note.’”

Both of those stories are great testimonies about how God uses fathers in a very special way. But this Father’s Day, I am drawn to the impression that no one – absolutely no one – can hold a candle to “Our Father, who art in heaven!” (Burning candle wax notwithstanding!) In Psalms 37:4, we read. “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”

If we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will grant us rewards beyond even the best of fathers! But how does that happen?

In 1 Chronicles 16:10-11, we have some help in seeing how that happens: “Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.”

Here we see that the one who is seeking after the Lord continually will find Him, and that finding Him will make the seeker glad.

That sounds like the way to “delight” in the Lord is to continually look for Him!

Sometimes, I believe that we don’t seem to delight in the Lord because we simply are not looking for Him! What was the last God-sighting you had in your life?

The fact is that the Lord is constantly working all around us, and His handiwork is readily apparent, even though we seem to overlook it all the time!

Did you see Him in your life working today, creating beauty for you to enjoy, bringing just the right person into your life at just the right time, sending you an encouraging word just when you needed to hear it, protecting you from some potential danger that could hurt you, providing something you need just when you need to receive it, even moving the obstacle that seemed immovable?

God has a lot invested in you – He gave His Son’s life for you. And He continues to pour out His love upon you each and every day!

The challenge for each of us is to look for Him each moment of every day we live, just like the young child looks for her Daddy to come home, and to run into His arms the moment she sees Him.

That is a Father’s delight, and it brings joy to our hearts as well!

Happy Father’s Day!

God bless …

Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at cdtabor3@gmail.com.


Chuck Tabor

Contributing columnist