A Father's Impact

A Father's Impact

I was blessed with a great father. My parents were both older when I was born, I was a surprise and an only child. Neither one of my parents had a college education; my mother had a high school diploma and my father had an eighth-grade education. He was a construction worker during my growing up years but had been a long-haul truck driver, covering the north/south route from Maine to Florida for a national food distributor.

Both of my parents, in their own ways, influenced my life. My mother was the task oriented one and my father the relationship oriented one. I never doubted  they loved me and would have done anything for me, but I had the closest relationship with my father.

When my father passed away, I realized the impact that he had on people in every walk of life. When I visited the grocery store where we regularly shopped after he died, employees from all over the store wanted to know why he had not been in the store. I explained and they all responded that they would have attended the services if they knew.

When my father passed away, I realized the impact that he had on people in every walk of life.

Former co-workers would call to find out where he was; it seems  he stayed in touch with most of them regularly and they were concerned about his wellbeing. People from church, the drycleaners, the gas stations and more all wanted to know about him. He had an infectious way of making you feel loved and cared about.

He was especially good at making me feel loved and cared about all the time. As I was growing up and encountering various life situations, I always knew I could count on him to be there for me. After my first car accident at 16, I called home to report what had happened and my mother answered the phone. I asked, “Is Daddy there?” and she handed him the phone. The only thing he cared about was if I was ok.

Through my father’s example, I learned about unconditional love, gentle leading and guiding, and more. In a greater way, I experience unconditional love from my Heavenly Father.  Someone who wants only what is best for me and leads me in right paths with a gentle, guiding hand.

In Exodus 34:6-7, God describes Himself to Moses. Listen to what He says, “…  "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,

maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

My earthly father, though he did not know God until I was 16, demonstrated this kind of love and faithfulness, this compassion, slowness to anger and more to me as I grew into the woman God had planned for me to be. My father planted these seeds in my life, and I am forever grateful.

There are people reading this who are wishing  they had experienced this kind of love from their father but found it lacking. Let me reassure you that you can still know this kind of love from your Heavenly Father. It may be a longer journey for you than for me, but God is waiting to hear from you so that He can demonstrate His generous heart, unbounding love and gracious devotion to you just as He has for me.

Invite Him to enter that kind of relationship with you. He’s waiting. Are you ready to be loved as never before? Now is the time.

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Karen McGuire

Karen McGuire came to Lead Like Jesus in February 2004 following the first Lead Like Jesus Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama, in November 2003, where she served as the volunteer coordinator. She comes with vast experience in local church ministry and denominational work and has been instrumental in the formation of several successful nonprofit ventures, including two churches, a seminary, a medical missions organization, and a welfare-to-work program. Karen served on several church staffs, held many volunteer positions in her local church, and is a Bible study teacher and seminar and retreat leader. She has one son and two young adult granddaughters.