The moment she stepped away from the rack I turned, said “excuse me” to the man to my right and plucked a card from the same spot where the woman had made her “amazing” discovery. The card’s cover was painted in masculine shades of blue with, “Thanks For The Memories” written on it. Inside the card read, “Dad, it wasn’t always perfect but it was always loving” A list was included with space for the sender to fill in the blanks. “Do you remember bringing home ____? That was my favorite pet! Thanks for not letting me quit ____. I really enjoyed doing ___ with you and Mom. I want you to know, I am teaching my children ___ is more important than ___ just as you taught me.”

Mentally filling in the blanks of the card took me on a lovely walk down memory lane. Recalling the times of happiness, joy, celebration, sadness and pain I felt as a child made me miss my Dad, who is now spending Father’s Day with the angels. But, even more significantly, the card exercise made me thankful for the legacy he left.

My heart aches for the sons and daughters of fathers found standing, bold faced and unrepentant, in the spotlight of sexual scandal on this Father’s Day. How sad to know the memory of their fathers will be tarnished forever by the legacy of shame they leave behind.

Though I am painfully aware of character flaws in my own life and know I cannot be forgiven while I hold a stone in my hand to cast at someone else, I also know, as Oswald Chambers has said, “My worth to God is what I am in private”. I believe that to be especially true of the men and women serving our country, states, cities and towns in leadership roles. The moment a man or woman “tosses their hat in the ring” of public service they are immediately held accountable to a higher standard of moral and ethical conduct. This price is demanded by those who place their trust in their leaders.

Most Americans recognize the daunting responsibilities placed on the shoulders of our leaders along with the constant temptations surrounding their offices. These extreme pressures of office are one of the main reasons we gather on the first Thursday of May for a National Day of Prayer asking God to bless America and her leaders with wisdom and the strength to live lives of integrity. This is an integrity that goes beyond reputation and external appearance to a singleness of heart and mind free of thoughts and deeds that are shameful, crafty and deceitful.

Unless your father deserted you at a young age or is a completely evil parent, you should be able to recall at least 10 specific good things about him. Pick up a pen and write them down then mail them in a card, text them or talk about them in a special phone call. If you cannot think of even one good thing about him, put down your stone and pray. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life”. Ephesians 6:1-3 Take time this Father’s Day to thank your father the “write” way.

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