I’ve become my father — not literally, but by things I catch myself doing. I was already a lot like him, since I take more after his side of the family. I have the looks of his mother and the introverted side he carried. Yet, it’s been in the last few years, since his death, that I see just how much he’s rubbed off on me.
A recent event really did it for me. Our local newspaper finally added a comics and puzzles section. For some reason I was thrilled. It’s not like I’ve been doing puzzles and reading comics the past fifty some years of my life — far from it, but something clicked in my mind when I opened up the paper and saw the colorful strips. I thought of my father and smiled. I immediately read a few and then saved them for my evening hour of relaxation before the television. I thought, “working the crossword puzzle should be good for my brain.”
My dad was a crossword-puzzle genius and always had one or two on his TV tray next to his chair. “Works in progress,” he would say. I took a stab at the first one and sighed. Maybe my English vocabulary is not too good after so many years overseas. I obviously didn’t get his word-wise ability.
The second one I worked, I ended up cheating on, because I discovered the answers were on the back page! Knowing the real answers helped me to understand more how the clues worked. I was a novice, after all.
As weekends come, I do laundry and clean my house. How many times did I call him to find him doing the same. The life of a widower still meant he had to have clean underwear — another smile.
Books and magazines stacked up in odd places — another trait. And then the TV tray. Only my siblings will groan if they read that one!
As I am on the beginning of my journey in widowhood, I think so often of my father, as he passed through those twenty years without my mother. He pressed on, but missed her every day. So much like him, I’ve become.
I’m sure I’m not alone in catching myself becoming like a parent. We all go through it, as we move into adulthood and midlife and so on. It’s inevitable, I suppose.
Then I think about another I’m to mirror, imitate, seek to become. He’s the one who didn’t pass just his genes but himself, through the giving of his spirit the moment I sought him out as Savior and Lord. When I act like my father, it’s because it comes from years of living with him, picking up his habits, listening to his words.
It should be like that with Jesus — I should be so much more like him than I am after all my years living with him, reading about his habits and listening to his words, right? Right should be the answer, but so many times it’s not. I’m not nearly as like him as I’d like to be, but I won’t stop trying, knowing the Spirit won’t stop transforming.
For now, I’ll be satisfied with baby steps toward being more like Christ even as I read my comics and work my puzzles. He loves me as I am — just like my dad.
Grace and Peace