“I can’t imagine a better boy to have as a son.” David leans in for yet another kiss planted on Quinn’s head. “You are a gift from God to us.”
This is one way a real man behaves. He kisses, shamelessly, and holds his already-large son in his lap at every opportunity. He speaks words of life over his children every day. He savors each chance to tell them he loves them because we can never hear enough how much we are treasured.
And he brings himself to their world. He brings his joy, his laughter, his love of cartoons and puns and his dry one-liners. Every one of us lights up when he comes in the room because his eyes are alight with the life that is flaming inside of him. It’s his love-time with God that lights up that fire. He bikes to his quiet place where the turtles sun in numbers and he meets with his God and he comes back humming with the energy that comes from his own Father’s love. This is what he has to give away. Without Papa-God love David has only good intentions and earnest efforts. But because he has gotten to know his heavenly Dad – his love is becoming complete.
He brings us his curiosity, his ever-present learning. He listens to the radio at all hours of the day and night, scheduling into his phone calender the things he is most desperate not to miss. He reads and reads and reads and thinks and thinks. And if you get the chance to listen when he decides to speak of all he has absorbed – you are blessed. And our children are blessed. Blessed because he is not only a learner but a very gifted teacher who shares his innate understanding of how things work with them all day every day – whether it’s how a tennis ball bounces depending on how it’s hit, or how the health care plan works, really. And if he has an agenda with all his teaching and learning, it is only to understand and to inform and to stimulate a relationship with God so deep that all else falls into place.
He teaches them this: that every day is a good day to try something new. That you can accomplish almost anything if you are willing to persevere. That integrity is the foundation of manhood. That to really love a woman is to lay down your life for her – not in battle but in the battle to be real and present. That there are many things more important than money. That a person’s identity is so much bigger than a career or a job or a ministry. That love takes action.
David’s choice not to work these days in response to God’s calling is truly a miracle of inner strength and true identity. And God is multiplying his faithfulness over and over so that the generations of our family will carry a legacy of strength, integrity, faithfulness and generosity that will change the world. It begins here, not with Braveheart battle we so often associate manhood with, but in the quiet places of of the spirit, in the development of a soul, in the nooks and crannies of family life.
Thank you, David, for being my greatest earthly treasure.
*We missed the original while in the midst of life back East. So today is take 2 – Daddy-Day for our family.