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Gentle Virtues

Looking Up To Dad

10/01/2006 - "Mom, is Dad the tallest man in the world?" asks our five-year-old daughter, Marcelle.

"No, sweet girl," I respond. "There are taller dads." Marcelle looks dumbfounded.

Days later we take a family outing to Douglas and walk around the retired train cars and engines on display. From a distance, Marcelle looks at a towering black steam engine and asks, "Is Dad taller than this train?" At first I think she is teasing, but her sincere expression tells me otherwise.

Slowly I respond, "This is a very tall engine. Your daddy might be only the height of a wheel."

She does not believe me until Randy stands beside one of its wheels, being close to his height, and the rest of the engine towers above him.

Even though Randy is 27 inches taller than Marcelle, we wonder why our daughter considers him to be so tall! I've concluded that Marcelle looks up to her dad.

By the look in her eyes, she sees more than her dad's height. She sees his inner qualities.

Lately, on his own initiative, Randy has stopped along the side of the road to see if a little, pink stuffed animal was our beloved Piggly Wig who often gets misplaced. Seeing that it was not, he propped it against a stop sign in hopes that it would be reunited with its young owner. Marcelle loves her daddy's heart.

Marcelle has watched her dad count manure bags in our yard and discover we were given an extra bag. Instead of keeping it, he returned it to the store, holding to the conviction that we will not prosper by dishonest gain. She honors her dad because he is honest and honorable.

When Marcelle cut her chin open recently, her dad left work to hold her hand while a skilled doctor stitched up her chin. She quietly demonstrated inner strength, what her daddy faithfully models.

Marcelle's question about the steam engine and her dad inspires me to see their similarity. In its day, the steam engine of much strength led a train in the right direction. Randy, with his inner strength, leads our family in the right direction. We benefit by his conscientious leadership.

Let's join Marcelle in being childlike. Through childlike eyes we can recognize and look up to the ones who lead us down the right track of genuine love, honesty and honor.

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