My first stop on the web in the morning is Our Daily Bread published by Radio Bible Class. I usually feel the need to start off the day with a God connection and its devotion helps get that jump started. Today was no different.
The devotion was by one of its staff writers Dave Branon who wrote about Father's Day and based it on Ephesians 6:2 where the Apostle Paul writes that we should honor our fathers and mothers. I revered my mom. She raised me under the most difficult of life circumstances and she did it consistently with unconditional love. She never gave up and when she died God had to call her home a couple of times.
It's different with my father. I have no memories of him other than maybe two minutes when I was in my mid-twenties and came face-to-face with him for the first time. That's where I learned the meaning of being disowned. That was it.
I spent a lifetime wondering about who he was and what made him tick. Beside my short personal encounter with him, I had a picture of him with me when I was a baby. It's the picture in this post. It was the only connecting point I had for the other half of what went in the making of me.
So how can I honor my father, Claude H. Thorp who was born in Millerton, New York and grew up in New York City in 1909? First, I can share this picture. For most of my life just holding it would produce an immense amount of emotion. At times, the gap left in my life by his absence in my life seemed as big as the Grand Canyon.
But I've learned and truly believe that my earthly father was created by God. What does this mean? I discovered that he died a while ago. But he had worth as a human being. He made a big mistake and never made any effort to correct it. Something happened along the way that skewered his personal identity.
He should have heard Pastor Jeff Manion of Ada Bible Church where we attend. He was teaching on Ephesians 1:5 about being adopted by the heavenly Father. He put it in a way that I hadn't thought about it before. He said, "Remember who you are." He repeated that. "Remember who you are. Remember who you are."
I wish I could have known my earthly father. But more important I know that I've been adopted by my heavenly Father. When I was thrown off the train and abandoned by my earthly father, it was my heavenly Father who picked me up.
I hope my earthly father heard that message before he died.