This picture is one of my favorites. Two pretty good looking dudes, with hair mind you. I never really knew why I liked this one so much, but some 30 plus years later, I realize it was a feeling of safety in that moment. That’s my dad, no one can hurt me now. Over the years I lost that feeling due to stupidity, but as I’ve gotten older and have gained responsibility over a child myself…I again understand the safety.
Until having the responsibility of raising a child you don’t know what went into raising a child. I was quite a hand full…ok, a body full, but that never stopped my father from being who God called him to be in my life. I’m sure I have hurt him and surely I have disappointed him, but he never stopped being my dad. When I didn’t so called like him (you know those abyss years we call puberty) or think he was on my side or supported me…he was always there and still kept on being my dad. When teaching me on becoming a man, he never wavered even though I wasn’t paying attention. He knew one day the seeds he planted would be watered and eventually I would get it. And I did.
Real father’s are so few these days. I’m blessed to have mine and to have him alive with me. Fatherhood is a richness that crosses blood lines. There are a few other men in my life that have had a fatherly influence in my life, but three stand out. Bishop R.L. Chapman (not pictured) former pastor and spiritual father. Most of his teaching have become alive in my life these last few years. Bishop G. A. Dorsey (first picture below) was the water that fed the seeds my dad planted. His nurturing in spiritual growth has solidified my walk with our Lord Jesus Christ. Lastly, William (Bill) H. Ryan (second picture below) If he read this he would be surprised he is even mentioned, but he was a father to me in business. When we met all I thought I could do was answer phones, but he saw and believe in the potential I could not see in myself. Today because of his coaching, I’m a player in the business game.
The great thing about my dad and the other father figures in my life…they all have the qualities of my Heavenly Father. That links them and me to the greatest asset of all. His wisdom, His grace, His mercy and so much more have I seen in these men.
To these men I say “Thank you” and “I Love you”. I continue to press on the path to be what God has called me as a man, husband and father. With you I’ve had nothing but good models to aspire after.
And dad thanks for always making me feel safe.