Do you ever write letters to people in your head—things you wanted to say, unfinished business, sentiments that pressed on your heart and didn’t let you go?
Sometimes I wake up at night and have a three-page letter downloaded straight into my heart.
Right now, for my father who is living* through cancer and chemo hell, parts of my letter would look like this:
I hate that you are struggling. If I could be with you in person more frequently, I’d just want to hold your hand. Pray silently. Sit at your feet. Watch you sleep. Bless you. Read you Scripture. Share a few memories. Make you smile.
I’d say I didn’t always respond the way I should have, that I often was too quick to react in my youth. I’d tell you if I had to do it all over again, I’d talk to you about your “corny” country music and be willing to discuss the different jazz artists you grew to appreciate.
I’d tell you I’m sorry I stuck my tongue out when I was 3 years old, that spitting out my peas onto your dinner plate wasn’t nice. I shouldn’t have made eating and the dinner table such a scene of drama.
I might state that I could have been more gracious when you taught me how to drive and more grateful when you would pick me up from a late theater rehearsal. While we were generationally farther apart than the parents of many of my friends, I wasn’t really embarrassed by you; I was just a teenager who thought that I was.
I would share with you that I watched you healing on that couch from radiation many years ago while you let me put barrettes in your amazing hair because that’s what you do when you have daughters. You play barbershop. I’d be less angry that you won UNO sometimes. I’d be more mindful of the times I got to “camp out” on the porch with you in the summers and wouldn’t make comments about your snoring.
I wrote a book, Dad. It wasn’t everything it could have been, but it was my first attempt. It was about God. I hope you could see the Presbyterian roots deep within my theology, Dad. How I really did understand Christ, the propitiation for our sins.
If I could just lay my head against your robe, Dad, like I used to rest it on your lap during the sermon, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
I can be a spoiled brat, but my heart is trying to be more like Jesus, Dad. I hope you can see that in me. I hope I make you proud.
My letter would say so many other things, but I’ll stop there. You get the idea.
What about God, though? What about our Father in Heaven? Read the rest of this entry »