Greatest Father’s Day will be for eternity

By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist

My granddaughters, Traci 7, and Kallie 4, looked out the window and ran through the house shouting: “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!”

When Daddy came through the door, he had to brace himself for two happy little girls running to their daddy’s arms. He picked them up as they almost smothered him with hugs and kisses. His wife scrambled to get in a hug and kiss too.

The scene warmed my heart. A tired, weary daddy home from a hard day’s work, revived before my very eyes. Daddy’s home … home where love abides … home where comfort, peace and joy live … home …basking in the love of those who loved him the most.

I wrote the above paragraphs in a 1995 column. Last Saturday we went to see Traci, now 18, graduate from Amarillo High. Kallie, her sister, will be a freshman in Amarillo High this fall. Where did the time go? Wasn’t it only yesterday that their daddy was 19 standing by our door with packed suitcases? “You’ve been wonderful parents but it’s time for me to move away,” and I cried.

I shed a tear as I watched Traci receive her diploma. Yes, I’m so proud of her and yes, I will miss seeing her. She is going to TCU on a full scholarship. My nest emptied many years ago, but somehow I am reliving it as I see the love in her parents’ hearts.

The only thing that will last forever is love. Life goes on and finally ends but love lasts forever. I think this journey of life is a training ground to see if we can learn to love and forgive, to endure and conquer, to die to self and sacrifice. Isn’t that what Jesus did in only three short years?

  Wherever God’s Word is given, a sweet spirit accompanies it. The Bible is love in any language. It is the language of the heart.

God is love. Those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16 NCV).

Can we even begin to fathom God’s love? Dutch evangelist and Holocaust activist Corrie Ten Boom has been quoted as saying, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is deeper still.”

The apostle Paul summed it up, “So these three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NCV).

I have heard it said, “Home is where the heart is.” I say, “Home is where the love is too.”

Home …just the word gives hope. If you have ever been on a long journey, you know the feeling. If your parents are older and you return to the “home” place, you are flooded with memories upon driving into the driveway. If you have lost a loved one and you go home to an empty house, you know the pain and the love of “home.”

Every day is Father’s Day. My husband keeps his cards and reads them over and over. “Thank you Dad for being my Dad. Thank you for showing me how to live and how to love. Thank you for loving Mom and me. Thank you for blessing my life. But most of all, thank you for showing me that a heavenly Father’s love for his son is the greatest love of all. I love you.”

My granddaughters still run to their daddy’s arms and that reminds me that one day God’s children will run to the heavenly Father’s arms. We will bask in the love of his presence. We will tell him again of our love and gratitude for his great sacrifice and we will sing praises to the one who died for you and me. We will be home …where joy, peace and love abide and we will live forever.

That will be the greatest Father’s Day of all!

Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and writer living in Portales.