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Dad Before You Go
by James R Fulton
Not For Sale
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Dad, before you go…

Remember that morning about twenty years ago? I can’t really give an answer to as why I was thinking of that particular morning, but something was stirring in my memory and well, for the events that took place on that morning – I just wanted to say that it was the first time in my adult life that I saw the love you had for me.

Anyway, I had awakened between four and four thirty in the a.m., with a full bladder rapping ever so softly against my abdomen. I went to roll over so I could get out of bed, when I noticed that I had weakness in my legs and upper torso; the reason for this weakness was that my potassium was bottoming out.
I’ve been in this situation before. Well, not necessarily having to go the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning, but having low potassium. I needed to come up with a plan, because the more I waited, the tighter my bladder was getting.

I thought I had enough strength to answer the call of the commode; but how to get there? The idea that I conjured up was…well, all I can say now is best laid plans of mice and men, but I thought if I could push myself up in a standing position I could manage my way to the bathroom and answer the call so to speak. Then, I could deal with the loss of vital minerals that my body was in dire need of.

On the count of “three”, I was going to rise up and make my move. Suffice to say, on “three”, I fell out of the bed, flat on my face. There I was naked, lying on my belly, full bladder no longer gently rapping on my abdomen, but getting ready to burst forth like a pressurize fire hose, and I couldn’t move. I had to do something.

I was not in the best situations and if nothing would happen in the next few minutes, I would quite literally be in hot water… well, warm water at least and a wet carpet. And I must confess, I have started off on better mornings than this; so has my Dad. So when I shouted for help, it was Dad that saw me first.

“Jamie?” Dad said. “Jamie, are you awake?” I had later found out that Dad thought maybe I had a nightmare and fell out of bed.

“Yeah,” I said somewhat embarrassed by my predicament. “I’m awake.”

“What’s the matter then?”

“My potassium is low and I can’t move.”

By this time, Mom had joined the pre-dawn escapes and states the obvious -

“If you couldn’t move, then why did you get out of bed?” Mom inquired.

“I don’t know. I thought I could make it to the bathroom.”

Mom then left to call Nan and Pa who lived in the back house.

Dad then asked if I could rise up on my fours and he will try to toss me back on the bed. When you’re naked and can’t move, your options quickly become narrowed. He tossed me back into bed like a sack of potatoes. And with a slap on the bare butt, he then pulled the covers back over me and then left me to go get a Mason jar.

Needless to say, I was deeply embarrassed. Men aren’t supposed to look on each other nakedness for the shame it might bring. And being how one may sleep at night, meaning the lack of nightclothes, you still have a blanket to hide your humiliation. But my Dad, he didn’t do anything that would further exposed my stigma. In fact, he did everything that he could to cover my predicament.

All this being what it is, a naked son calling on his pop for help and the father restoring the son’s self-respect, reminds me of two sons that help save their father’s dignity. In the book “The View From Mount Calvary” by John Phillips, Phillips uses the story found in Genesis 9:23 to demonstrate what actually happened when Christ took on the sins of the world and shame was put on Him.

After Noah had one night of celebrating the harvest of the vineyard, he passed out in his tent in a drunken slumber and during the night, had become uncovered. One of his sons, Ham, looked into his father’s tent and saw his father’s disgrace. The bible isn’t clear as of what was said to Shem and Japheth, Ham’s brothers, all that is known is that when they were told about their father’s defilement, they took matters into their own hands and saved their father’s modesty. They walked backwards into their father’s tent, not looking upon their father’s nakedness, with robe in hand, and covered his humiliation.

Now, fast forward a few thousands of years and we see a man who happens to be a son stripped naked, while the accumulative sins of the world are heaped on him. The man happens to be the Son of God and what is taking place is the apex of his life mission – “behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). So the problem arises - because God is a holy and just deity, He cannot look upon sin, so how can God, who loves His Son very much, look upon him when the totality of sins that mankind have done and will do are cast on Him?

Jesus is separated from God for the first time in His life (Mathew 27:46, Mark 15:34). It is as if God turns His back to His beloved Son. However, God may show His back towards His Son, but in so doing, He picks up a robe, figuratively speaking, and proceeds to walks backwards towards the cross, not looking upon the sins that are now covering His son, and covers His Son with the robe; a robe of righteousness, if you will. God’s love covers His Son…and it covers us too. “For what can separate us from the Love Of God? Who can separate us from the Love Of Christ?” Nothing can and no one dares.

God loves His son because of His obedience, even unto the death on the cross. And Jesus is awarded accordingly with a name above all that at the very sound of it all tongues will confess and everything in Heaven and on Earth and under the earth will declare, “Jesus is Lord” (Philippians 2:8-11).

Nevertheless, some might say that God is playing loosey-goosey with the law if this is true. We must remember that it is His law and He can do whatever He wants to with it and it will still be called fair and just. But I think we often forget that His heart is that of a Father’s who will do everything within the law to make matters right. And that’s what He did, covered His Son. It should be mentioned - what loving father wouldn’t cover their son in dire need?

Nothing further was said about my nakedness that morning.

Dad,…you handed me back my dignity and covered me with your love. And I love you for it.

Your son

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