Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Conditions of the Heart

Tomorrow morning, my dad will have heart surgery. I won't be posting a morning blog, because I will be in the hospital waiting room, praying.

In the past weeks as we've awaited this scheduled procedure, I've spent a good deal of time reflecting about my dad's influence on my life and about him in general.

He grew up poorer than dirt poor, the tenth of ten children. His home had two bedrooms and a tiny kitchen. My recollection of visiting my grandparents includes dusty wooden floors, musty old furniture, smelly chicken coops and dog pens full of barking hound dogs.

Dad's tales of his childhood fascinated me as I imagined him a bonafide Huckleberry Finn. He is a talker who shares vivid details when he spins a yarn, and I am confident that given the opportunity and education, he'd have made one of the world's finest attorneys or politicians because he is a great debater.

He's a man who never sees obstacles, only opportunities. In the early 70's when the local school board decided to bus my sisters and me across town, he went to Raleigh to learn what he'd have to do to start a private school. He rallied support from a few other parents and within one year he'd not only chartered a private school, he'd gotten land donated and built a building and gymnasium.

He started his own business when I was very young, and etched in my mind are pictures of him sitting at his desk in our house late into the night, planning for the next morning's agenda.

Sometime when I was in grade school, he decided to become a pilot. I was too ignorant to be afraid and loved joining him for flights in a little Cessna where he entertained us with loops and dives that rivaled the best amusement park ride.

Daddy made us laugh, but he was also strict. His love for us was never in question and his expectations were always clear: work hard, give back, don't give up, and love God.

Tonight, I will pray for his heart to be healed by this surgery because he has always so faithfully prayed for me. He may have a "heart condition", but the condition of his heart is perfect. It was perfected when he gave his life to Christ and turned to Him as Lord.

I hope if you are a parent who stumbles across this blog you'll consider your own heart's condition--realizing that one day your son or daughter might be sitting at a computer typing about the way your loving heart profoundly impacted their life.

My dad; a crazy, goofy, amusing, Korean War veteran, contractor, pilot, motorcycle rider, house builder, teacher, storyteller, guitar player, singer, poet, God-loving father who has a truly loving heart. I hope one day my children think my heart is half as special!


  1. Praying for your dad and the rest of the family this morning!

  2. What a beautiful post. I will be thinking and praying for your dad and family.