Getting my rhythm on the cycle, I saw Kent entering the gym. “Hey Kent, how’s it going today?”
Picking up a couple of arm weights, he said, “Not too bad, Bill. Melinda had that ‘let’s redecorate this room’ look on her face, so I thought it would be safer for me here.”
I laughed and said, “Ah! Working out to escape work at home…interesting theory.”
“Tis the season of ‘newness and color’” He said while in a hilarious decorator’s stance.
“I know what you mean. The family is celebrating Father’s Day at our house. Alice wants everything just so…so I try to stay out of her way.”
Kent paused, “Do you get together often with your dad?”
Still cycling, I said, “We try to, but because of busyness…you know.”
Kent nodded, “I do know how busy life gets. I try to get together with my dad quite often…to keep in touch.”
“That’s great…I’m sure he appreciates that.” I said.
“I do, too! I want him to know I appreciate all he’s done in my life.”
“Yeah, my dad helped me when I was in college and needed money all the time.”
Smiling, Kent said, “My dad has always provided for me, and usually gave me more than what I thought I needed. Sometimes I didn’t realize what I needed.”
I stopped cycling and looked at him, “Wow, he gave you more than what you asked for?”
“He knows me pretty good…and still loves me…I didn’t always deserve it.”
“Bad boy?” I teased.
He shook his head, “Oh yeah…There were times I wouldn’t talk to my dad, thought I knew it all. But he was always there for me.”
“I imagine you had a few time-outs from your dad.”
H e nodded, “I was disciplined, but I always knew he loved me. His lessons would definitely stick with me.”
I was trying to remember if I had met Kent’s father. We’ve known each other for years, mostly at the gym, but I didn’t recall seeing his father. But I guess we weren’t that close.
“What does your dad do for a living? Or is he retired?”
Kent smiled. “He makes things from scratch. He’s passionate about his work. I don’t think he’ll ever retire.”
“Kent, I don’t think I’ve met your father.””
“Well, Bill, my dad is around all the time. I would love to have you meet him.” He paused, looked at me and said in a serious tone, “Actually, he’s your Father, too. It’s God I’m talking about.”
Was this a joke? I thought. “God? I don’t understand.”
He stood and took a step toward me, “Well, I never had an earthly father. My mother was young and pregnant. She did her best to make a life for us…but there were a lot of hard times. However, we never went hungry and always had a place to sleep, we were never alone, always protected, and loved,. I knew that God loved me as His child.”
I can’t imagine life without my dad. I asked Kent, “What about going to ballgames and camping trips and things like that?”
“God provided for those things, too. He would send men into my life that would do those things with me when my mother couldn’t. Those times really blessed me…and I knew where those gifts came from…my heavenly Father.”
How can this be? I thought. “But there are so many fatherless kids in the world…how can God care for them all?”
Shrugging his shoulders, Kent responded, “I don’t know exactly how He does it, but I do know that He does. It says in the Bible that God sets the lonely in families. It also says that God is a father to the fatherless, and a defender of widows. God cares for us so much, He will make sure we are being taken care of in this life….and in the next. The great thing is…someday I’ll see my Father face-to-face.”
Could it be true? I wondered. “Thanks for telling me about ‘your Dad.’ Maybe I should get to know him better.”
Kent put his arm on my shoulder. “He’d like that. You’d make a great brother…someone I could really…” as he moved closer,“…tease!!!” He squirted his water bottle in my face and ran. Too bad he left his locker key behind.
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