Normally on a day like today, I congratulate all the fathers around me, and that’s that. But today, I wanted to cry, when at church they thanked all the dads for being in our lives.
You see, I don’t live near my father. At all. I currently live 2400 miles–or 3862 kilometers or 2085 nautical miles–away from my parents.
In fact, I think I’ve only been physically present with my dad on the famous Father’s Day in June for about half of my 35 years, which is a sobering thought. Between college, travelling, moving out, and now more than 7 years in Costa Rica, our family has always been spread out. For better, for worse, that’s what it is.
In recent years, everyone landed together in west Michigan…and I’m still 2400 miles away. Most people gasp with excitement when they hear that I live in Central America……….but on days like today, it’s just hard. I wish I lived in the same community, able to visit my loved ones on any weeknight… And I can’t even imagine what it’s like for my parents.
Jesus warned us that following Him meant leaving things behind…sometimes even family. This doesn’t mean rejecting our family, but that our love for God is to be greater than any love for our parents, brothers or sisters.
God led me to a slum in San Jose, Costa Rica….far from the comfort and proximity of family and friends. I visit the USA every 1-2 years…….and yeah, I wish it were more often. But God asks us to follow Him, to believe that He is worth the cost. With the surrender of myself come wonderful, unexpected things.
And no, I’m not with my dad today. But who ever said June had the Father’s Day market cornered?? My DADDY-MEGAN DAYS were every Wednesday in October and November when we drove out to Carpio together to serve. And drinking cold Coca-Cola in glass bottles together. And they are the chatty emails he writes just for me, and the moments when I know he is praying and loving me all the way from Grand Rapids. It is enough.
I love you, Dad. You’re on top of the world.