A FATHER’S LOVE
Three feet tall and full of questions. You must have thought I was the smartest man alive. I didn’t always have the answers to every little how and where and why. Like “Daddy, why’s the sky so blue today?” “Does Jesus really hear me when I pray?” “When I grow up, will I be just like you?” “Will I be tall and strong and brave?” There’s no power on earth like your fathers’ love. So big and so strong as your father’s love. A promise that’s sacred, a promise from Heaven above. No matter where you go… always know You can depend on your father’s love. Especially when it’s cold, especially when you’re lonely. When your little heart is lost trying to find it’s way. I know the world is always changing, but, remember son, that some things never change. And even when my life on earth is through there will still be a part of me in you. ‘Cause some things are forever. Nothing’s ever gonna take my love from you. There is no power on earth like your father’s love. So big and so strong as your father’s love. A promise that’s sacred, a promise from Heaven above. Did I hug enough? Did I care enough? When you most needed me, was I there enough? Enough to make you feel the power of our father’s love? ~ Bob Carlisle
There’s an influencer I’ve been following for some time now, Sean Whalen, “the Lions Not Sheep” guy. He’s one of those influencers that so many people love to hate, with unfiltered “truth bombs” that pummel his audience with supersized doses of reality. He’s been there, done that, had it all, lost it all, and changed the lives of those who are brave enough to face his sobering messages in the mirror for the so much very better. Some people call him an asshole. Sometimes he can be an asshole! But he’s also one of the greatest “fathers” I’ve never met. Let me tell you why by sharing last night’s “truth bomb” in the wake of the Kobe Bryant tragedy:
Didn’t know him. Never met him. But as a father I can’t think of more terrifying reality than to leave my children. Men, hug them tighter. Text them. Write them. Call them. Dance with them. Smile with them. Lay with them. Snuggle them. Talk to them. No amount of worldly success will EVER be able to buy back this moment or this day. Nothing you do in the next hour will be more important than connecting with them. Nothing will replace today. Make it memorable. Make it one that if you never had another, you’ve had said and done it all. Honor this man by honoring what is right in front of us.
… and thus a Lion’s roar about “a father’s love” and the reason so many of us love him. HE’S ANSWERED “THE RIDDLE” SPOT ON! This was my response to his post:
To any “dads” out there following Sean’s post here. Let me echo and highlight his message. I’m a new widow here – 158 days old. Lost my king to suicide. The wake of devastation for the people Mr. Bryant just left behind is NOT for the faint of heart. Please DO hug your kids tonight. Do everything listed above. A daddy’s last thoughts, words and deeds for their children can either be the MOST powerful or the MOST devastating things they carry to their OWN graves one day. Choose well and leave ONLY a legacy of LOVE …
I’m not gonna say I was a Kobe Bryant fan because that would be a lie. Basketball is not my scene, and honestly, professional sports and the athletes that play them tend to impress me ZERO. The men that impress me most are the the influential, motivating, “living a life of use to others” pride that lead their packs with love. Which is not to say there aren’t some pro athletes who are using their celebrity as platforms to motivate others and are indeed influential fathers. Still, if someone were to ask me, “If you could choose just ONE famous person to meet, who would it be?”, I can’t think of any athletes I care to know. But I’ve digressed, and now that I think of it, what little I did “hear” about Kobe wasn’t exactly stellar. It seems he might have made some terrible choices along his way.
But here’s what I do know: He was an imperfect, mortal man. Someone’s husband. SOMEONE’S FATHER! Regardless of his mistakes, HE’S DEAD! Now there is another broken family waking up to an actual “living nightmare” today whose lives as they knew them just ended. Been there. Done that. It’s NOT a reality for the faint of heart, and regardless of who he was or “what he did”, I’m aching for those he left behind. Judging from the pictures in the media of him with and his kids, it appears that as flawed as he may have ever been, he did have good connections with his kids. Perhaps he had been doing “that stuff on Sean’s list”, in which case, thank God he left his kids with a legacy of LOVE!
If you, like I, were lucky enough to have had a truly good father in your atmosphere whose less than favorable departure left a smite on his otherwise beautiful legacy, then you know exactly why Sean’s “PAY ATTENTION DADS” truth bomb meant so much to me. I pray to GOD that the thousands of fathers that are following his lead took his loving message straight into their hearts, because quite frankly, there really is no power on earth like your father’s love. A good father can build you into an impermeable fortress. A bad one can bury you alive in wounds that never heal. Kudos to all the fortress building KINGS in this world and long live your legacies of love!