Written May 15, 2016
It’s been a hard week, as we’ve said goodbye to my dad, Tom Brown. As the five of his children were together, with grandchildren and great grandchildren too numerous to count, my brother Steve Brown made the comment that the five of us all remember Dad in a different way, as we lived through different times of his life and even in different houses/cities.
I told him this morning that the one memory we all will share in common is that of our father waking up early every morning and spending time in prayer and Bible study. As Dr. Schoonmaker shared at the service, Dad was a student of God’s Word and a man of prayer. I remember sneaking in one day and looking at his prayer journal to see what he was actually praying about — and found prayers for each of his children — for our salvation, our walk with God, our marriages, our lives. He turned us all over to the One who could handle all a father’s cares.
I know many times each of us had our moments at disappointing our father over poor decisions we made in life, (or just stupid ones), but we were never in doubt of his love for us, nor his support. He was proud of each of us for our individual accomplishments and giftings. We never had to compete with each other, because we had our father’s approval and love at all times.
I was his baby girl, and though my brothers called me spoiled, I will leave it to say that I was just honored to be able to enjoy his extra attention as the house grew emptier over the years. I watched he and Mother renew the spark in their marriage as they no longer had little ones under their feet, remember catching them kissing in the kitchen. I was blessed to see him fulfill one of his bucket list dreams of seeing the pyramids of Egypt. He was my strongest prayer warrior and let me cry on his shoulder when I lost Raouf. A few days later he wanted to share with me the Scripture the Lord had given him to comfort me in my loss — “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:32).
Two weeks ago, he told me what he wanted at his funeral, and that verse was among his requests. He knew he was not long for this world, but also knew the land where he was going was a place for the living, not the dead. As we sang “Victory in Jesus” today, I could almost hear him singing along, for he has gained his victor’s crown and is singing in perfect pitch with the angels today.
Yes, I’ve lost two of the most precious men in my life within the last six months, but we do not mourn as those without hope, for they are in that Land of the Living celebrating the Christ they loved so dear. May his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends and all those he touched follow his example of a life lived for the same God he loved to serve. Love you, Daddy.
Grace and Peace