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Gentle Virtues

Safe and Secure

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06/01/2008 - My ride arrives to take me to our friend's out-of-town wedding. My dad follows me out the door and inspects the tires on my friend's car. Firmly he says, "These tires are nearly bald. Tami, you're not leaving in this car until it has a new set of wheels."

"But, Dad!" I call out, being a teenager at the time, "There's no time to do that! Kathy is counting on me to be her guest book attendant."

My dad turns to me and says, "Kathy can find someone else to take your place, but to me you are irreplaceable."

Even though I want to leave immediately, I respect my dad's judgment. Soon my friend returns with new tires. Dad gives his approving nod and my friend and I are on our way.

We arrive too late for me to be the guest book attendant and were nearly too late to see Kathy introduced by her new name, but that's okay. Someone else attended to her guest book and I was still able to congratulate Kathy with a hug. Besides, I experienced the safety and security of my father's love.

Outside lights, dead bolts, alarm systems, and rods in the window sills can help us feel more safe and make our homes more secure, but they don't give us the same effect as being loved. From the time we are tiny, we need to be loved in order to truly feel safe and secure. It is one of the few essential needs we have.

A few years after my friend Kathy has tied the knot, I am attending another wedding, this time in its entirety. The minister officiating says, "Love protects." I smile and think to myself, Yes, I know. I learned that from the one who just walked me down the aisle.

A father's love Ė it helps one feel irreplaceable. It helps one feel safe and secure.

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