Thursday, November 10, 2011

A "Real" Man

I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn to humbly obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

Sometimes I marvel because of how different your life must look than how you imagined it. Ohio? Five children? No 4-wheeler? Really? But then I think of how your life is just like you imagined it: Ohiofivechildrenno4wheeler so inconsequential...faithfulness to God in whatever circumstances.
You are a real man.

Sometimes I can't stand you. I take all of my exhaustion and undone dishes and undone repairs and undone goals and undone responsibilities and I pile them up on the easily accessible corner of my distorted mind called Your Fault. You did not sign up for this. You do not fight back. You do not blame back. You don't do the same thing to me because you know I would crumble under the accusation because my patience-meter is always hanging by a measly thread. You wait. You hold no grudges when I regain my senses.
You are a real man.

Sometimes you mess up. Or get lazy. Or ignore consequences we agreed upon for the kids. Or let depressing thoughts control your actions. You are not perfect.
You are a real man.

Sometimes (All The Time?!?) you are faced with career detours. Oh, that long-lived goal of being an engineer has been fulfilled - probably, in reality, when you were born. But life and poor decisions and good decisions and opportunities seem to arrive like a weekly package. I love your dreams. I love your ideas. Don't stop.
You are a real man.

Sometimes friends, family, strangers, restaurant patrons compliment our well-behaved children. How wonderful and sweet and quiet and mature. They assume - oh the irony! - they assume because I'm home with them that it's because of me. I, the Lord, my family, and you, know the truth. You defy every misguided stereotype this world places on a father. You are so strong, and so gentle. You discipline with the long view. You have always seen them as the people they are becoming. They know, deep in their hearts, that you enjoy being with them and always will.
You are a real man.

And I pray that your 41st year is real and good and blessed in a way that only the Lord can do. I love you. 


Kelly said...


Anonymous said...

He is truly a Blessing