The other night, Shawn and I were on our way home, listening to Pandora radio when a piano version of the old hymn "This Is My Father's World" came on. I closed my eyes and was transported back to the 9-year-old version of my self. There I sat on the second pew of any church in America, wearing tights and patent leather shoes, listening to my Dad play during the Sunday morning offering. It's probably a feeling that only my sister can identify with, but the comfort of hearing that piano play - with Dad sitting behind the keys - is indescribable. You probably wouldn't think I could tell if it was him or any other piano player, but I can. I remember sitting and proudly watching people's faces in the crowd as they closed their eyes and worshiped or whispered to the person next to them, "Isn't he amazing?" He is an amazing pianist, but even better than watching his hands is watching his face. It lights up when his fingers touch those keys. It's what he was made to do, and he does it with so much joy.
I remember in my cross country days, Dad was the only one I needed to see before the race started. I'd stand with one foot on the line and scan the crowd, looking for him on the sidelines. As soon as I saw him, I was ready to run. I knew he'd be there cheering me on, and that mattered so much to me. He had been there through the summer of training before, joining me for early morning runs on the golf course behind our house. He had taken us to buy the best running shoes available. He had invested so much. So when I would round a corner and see him smiling from ear to ear, I knew he was so proud of me and I knew I could keep going.
I remember one of his proudest moments as he walked me down the aisle at our wedding. The rest of the wedding party had made it down the aisle, and I had one final moment behind the curtain with Dad before he handed me off to my groom. As the music started, I leaned my head on his shoulder and let the tears drip down my face in joy, so thankful that he had helped prepare me for a new man to take care of me.
Today, I am so thankful that he has not only continued to love me well as an adult, but he also loves my husband as his own son. To see them talking, spending time together, and loving each other is a gift. More than anything, I'm thankful that he has pointed me to Jesus. He knows that his purpose as an earthly father is to point me to my Heavenly Father, and he has done just that.
I love you, Dad.
I'm so proud to be your daughter.
Happy Father's Day.