My dad has always kept a toolbox.
In childhood, I remember all the shiny red drawers filled with nails and wrenches and every type of screwdriver you’d ever need.
When something was broken, he’d hurry to the garage, grab a gadget of some sort and fix it. Sometimes, it would be quick. Sometimes, it would take hours and multiple showers as sweat soaked through his around-the-house Tees.
Lights that had burnt out came back on. Clogged drains drank down water once again. Toys torn apart were glued back as good as new.
And even though those memories are still crystal clear to me, they don’t hold a candle to the many other ways Dad has helped fix some of the broken pieces of my heart.
Like when he highlighted the promises in scripture each Sunday service and let me flip through his Bible and read along.
Like when he intervened during our sister squabbles with authority and enough gentleness to remind each of us of our worth.
Like when he’d buy a stranger’s meal at a restaurant or stop to help a mom change a flat tire on the country road.
Like when he’d listen to so many tearful apologies and tell me each time that I was forgiven. And I believed him.
Dad coached me at races and at practices, too. He taught me how to hit softballs and to catch and to appreciate the crunch of a charred burger or hotdog for supper.
He taught me to enjoy a lazy weekend watching golf or race cars on TV and to keep in perspective those disappointment that were just “a pebble in the shoe.”
His hugs and high-fives have helped heal more than bandaids ever did, and his word has always been as good as gold.
So, Dad, it’s time to say this loud enough that you’ll never have reason to wonder. There’s never been a question about whether the most important work you’ve done has paid off.
I just have to look down at my own kids’ faces to watch how your light still shines, and the world looks brighter.
Not because you’ve fixed everything perfectly. But because you’ve made the effort to show us what the love of our Heavenly Father – does – .
And that has made all the difference.