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May Apples and Banana Flips
by Barbara Thompson Young 
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My father could not handle the responsibilities and pressures of fatherhood. He had a couple other weaknesses, too. One was beer and the other was my mother, with whom he shared a love/hate relationship. All these elements combined caused him to come and go in my life as though through a revolving door.

Dad would work for a few months, pick a fight with mom,(and I don’t mean figuratively) then get drunk and leave his family to fend for themselves. Weeks or months later, he would re-appear, and enter my life again. This went on throughout my childhood and teenage years, and even longer.

There were many who thought Dad didn’t love his family, but even as a child I knew his love, and had such unexplainable compassion for him. It would take many years for me to know why I had been blessed with such, and that it came from my heavenly Father, but that is a story for another day.

Today I want to share a special memory of one of those times when Dad had re-appeared. He was doing what good fathers do-- working at a job and taking care of his family.

It was late spring in “Dismal Holler” where we lived. It wasn’t possible to drive a car on the narrow lane that led back to our house, but that didn’t matter to us because we didn’t own a car. From the main road, Dad would be dropped off by the person from whom he had thumbed a ride, and more times than not, Dad would find me waiting for him somewhere on that path at the end of his work day,

I can still see him walking towards me, tall and lean, and swinging his black metal lunch bucket back and forth in his hand. With a smile on his face he would kneel down and open it up; inside would be a banana flip, (a confection similar to today's "Twinkie").

Dad worked in a steel mill and I am certain he could have used the energy the cake would provide, but he had saved it from his lunch because he knew I would be waiting for him at the end of the day.

Sometimes dad didn't have anything to give me, so he would have me stay on the path while he searched around in the growth of the woods looking for a May Apple. It didn’t take long. In 1950 May Apples were plentiful in southern Ohio.

It's been sixty years, yet I can still remember watching him, and the thrill of being the recipient of such a treat. Yet the truth was, I loved being with him because of his kindness to me.

My flawed, earthly father had a desire to please me. He knew at the end of his long hard work day, I would be there waiting for him and he wanted to reward me with the best he had.

And that reminds me of my heavenly Father. About him, Jesus said, “If you, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him.” (Matthew 7:11 KJV)

I thought there was no one like my earthly father! In the only way he knew, he denied himself to bless me. How much more does my heavenly Father, who will never leave me or forsake me, want to bless his daughter?

How much more does he want to bless you? After all, if he loves you so much that he sent his only Son to die in your place, why would he not want to share his best with you?

Have you experienced the Father's love?

Do you have a special place where you go to meet with him?

Do you know that he wants to meet with you and give you his very best?

He wants to give you more than you can ask or think.

The Gospel of Luke says it best, “Fear not; it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32 NIV)

© Barbara Thompson-Young

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joyce Poet 25 Oct 2004
Somehow, you have managed to awaken in me that desire to crawl into Abba Father's lap and let His love envelope me, comfort me, and fill my voids... and He is faithful. Sometimes, I suppose, it takes things like wayward loved ones to really, really understand our need for "The Good Father." Do me a favor? Next time you write something, knowing that you are an instrument for Christ, knowing that He will use you to minister to the deep places of others' hearts, please forewarn me to have tissue handy. Hugs, Treava
Trish Thompson 24 Oct 2004
What a lovely story about your father....and your Father. You were indeed blessed to be able to see past your father's weaknesses, and see the blessings he had for you.....and I love how you relate that to the relationship we can have with our heavenly Father.
Thanks for sharing your memory...it touched my heart.


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