When I was little, he'd whisper it in my ear each night before I went to sleep:
"Of all the girls in all of the world, if I had to choose just one to be my daughter...
I'd choose you."
Over the years, our bedtimes have drastically swapped. I've had to stay up writing last-minute Sociology papers and Composition essays hours after he's gone to sleep. I have a little sister now, so the words have had to morph:
"If I had to choose one girl to be my firstborn daughter..."
Now, his whispers are more like the farewell at the end of a phone call, or the text right before an exam.
I'd choose you—
Even if you bomb this next test. Even if the nursing schools don't want you. When you feel lost and alone...
I would choose you.
• • • • • • • • • •
This is how I see my Dad:
He's one of the best read-aloud-storytellers of all times. He makes the best fried eggs. He's tackled countless marathons since his first in 2006, and he officially earned the title of "Ironman" last September after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 116, and running 26.2.
He's persevered through studying and earning extra degrees. He watches my mysteries with me. He has read Pride and Prejudice and War and Peace. He has such depth of wisdom, and somehow he still puts up with me playing Taylor Swift for him on roadtrips. He diligently pours his hard work into every task that he faces, and leads with bold courage.
I love him, and I trust him.
He's my Dad.
• • • • • • • • • •I've been thinking lately about how many "middle-man" questions pastor's kids are asked...
"What does your Dad think about _________?" "Hey, what is the schedule for that new missions program your Dad mentioned gonna look like?" "Hey, tell your Dad that I'm not going to be able to make tomorrow's meeting, will you? I forgot that the kids have a dentist appointment..."
Nope, I didn't make any of those up. I've heard them all. And more.
Don't get me wrong, Kids probably know the answers. They wear the hats right alongside their dads; they organize their offices every now and then, they've answered the church phone at least once, they've folded bulletins by hand. More likely than not, they know what's going on.
Sometimes, though, Kids really wish that people would let them see their dads as...their dads.
Because, truth be told, we see our dads as teachers and leaders, our go-to advisors for the overwhelmingly hard situations in life. That being said, we don't necessarily consider them to be our "pastors." That concept seems strange... and we have a hard time wrapping our brains around it.
When we think of the pastor's role for our dads, we think of the job itself and the toll that it takes on them. We know how it drains them: physically, spiritually, and mentally. For us, all of the "experiential knowledge" adds up to hearts full of worry.
So when you're talking to your pastor's son or daughter, remember who they are: they're somebody's child. They experience the same pride, love, and occasional embarrassment for their dads that any other child would.
When you're talking to your pastor, remember every now and then, too, that he's a dad. He coaches sports and cuts the grass and loves spontaneous ice cream trips just as much as any other.
Remember that Pastor-Dads are just as deserving of Father's Day celebrations as they are of Pastor Appreciation Month.