Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day! (Sharing The Birth Mark of Our Dad)

As a kid I had many superheroes:
Wonder woman
The Incredible Hulk

As powerful as each of them were portrayed, however, they couldn't compare to the super hero I had in my Dad, our first 'Super man.'


If he were preaching in a clergy robe or suit or casual attire, reading, mentoring others, leading a meeting, attending our school functions, writing a book, hosting a conference, or simply relaxing with the family watching a football game in his pajamas and bath robe, we looked at him with appreciation for the 'super powers' he portrayed: love, a listening ear, accessibility, accountability, discipline, laughter, encouragement, support and wisdom.

He was a great family man.

He was the best Dad and lived the best sermon by fighting cancer with hope.

Although he was human, which made him imperfect and limited, as we all are, to me, he was the greatest, strongest, most handsome and talented man that could do anything. I admired him then and even many years after his death, I admire him still.

Today and all of the days leading to Father's Day have brought back so many special memories of a father worthy of being remembered and the joy of being his daughter that never ends.

One day, as a young girl, I discovered my birth mark. I asked my parents to explain what a birthmark was. I became fascinated by learning about the irregular body marks that people often had after birth. I enjoyed asking my friends if they had birthmarks and enjoyed the uniqueness of their marks.

One day my father made mention of his birthmark. Suddenly, everyone in the family started showing one another their birthmarks. We giggled.

Then, I couldn't believe my eyes!
My Dad and brother and I had the exact same birthmark. Wow! How could that happen?
The same birthmark? 3 different people with the same mark in the same body location, same shape, same color.

I cherished knowing that we shared something special. We were already a close family, but in my heart (and with naivety and childlike wonder) that bonded us even more. I adored Dad and enjoyed knowing that we shared the same mark. We are different but share the same DNA, family resemblances, many of life's passions and the same birthmark.

Now as an adult, I've come to appreciate spiritual birthmarks as much as physical birth marks.

I'm thankful for the faith of Abraham, the courage of Esther, the tenacity of Job, the persistence of the Syrophoenician mother who pleaded with Jesus for her daughter, the humility of Jairus who ran to get Jesus to heal his child, the persistence of the woman with the issue of blood who touched Jesus in faith and the powerful witness of Paul. We have spiritual marks in our heritage, grace to embrace and lives to learn from and emulate.

I've come to cherish 'marks' that all Christians share: a legacy in God, an eternal inheritance, a rich relationship with Christ, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the promise of God's presence and the fruits of the Spirit.
We all share the same marks.

I've come to value family legacy 'birthmarks' that families represent.
In our family I've seen generations of hard workers: authors, teachers, preachers, evangelists, pastors, first ladys, flight attendants,  professors, singers, coaches, realtors, founders and leaders of organizations, world travelers, students, singers, historians, athletes, postal workers, truck drivers, executives, business men and women, Sunday School teachers, medical professionals, white collar and blue collar workers who have dedicated themselves to hard work and pushing the potential of others, living with integrity and character and committing to displaying resilience and an overcoming spirit with faith in God.
I celebrate our family and yours, our father, father figures and yours! Our legacy and yours!
I'm grateful that different people can share the same mark.

On father's day, I'm thankful to have had a great father. He was funny, intelligent, full of vision, loving, generous, sophisticated, fearless and faithful. I believe that I'm most impacted by his relationships, his passion for racial reconciliation, his communication and education.

I'm thankful that we share many facial features. When we look in a picture or a mirror we always see his face. We also see happiness that he implanted in our family and a value system that will never be broken.
In one another we see him.

We see that seeds that he planted will never die.

We see that he is remembered by others and that gives us great joy.

We cherish the marks that he made on the lives of family, preaching and people the most.

His mark is on Shenikwa, my sister.
I see him in her face and in her powerful teaching and fearless leadership.
I see him in my brother Emon's face and in his kindness to people, his thoughtful preaching and compassionate heart.
I see him in his grand daughters who are strong, young leaders who love him yet never knew him.
I see him in HRick, June, Lawrence, Stuart, Mario, Keith and other family members who are excellent men, fathers/ father figures and leaders.

I see him in Concord Church, in Pastor Bryan Carter, in the EKB preaching conference and in many
sons and daughters in the
the ministry.

May each of us live in such a way that people will recall the 'marks' of our lives long after we have exited the scene.

Birthmarks are irregularities on skin.
God makes something beautiful out of our irregularities. Our lives are the same.
God does extraordinary things with ordinary people and takes our irregularities and does something Supernatural.

You and I have birthmarks to love, to live up to, to display, to share and to live by.

The greatest marks can be seen in the handprints and foot prints of Jesus.

He is the Father that each of us should celebrate on today.
His birthmark was His death mark and our birthmark in Him is because of His death mark.

We may have great Dad's on earth, but we have a perfect Dad in God. A father that will never die. A father who loved us so much that he sent His son to die for us. A son who rose in Victory and grants us that same Victory each day.

We have the mark of victory! "Victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever."
Since this is true, we should share the birthmark of our Father with others.

Happy Father's day to all biological and adoptive fathers, spiritual and social voices and mentors. Thank you for your hard work and dedication and your commitment to family, community and  faith.
You have a mark to bear.

Dear Lord, thank you for fathers. Thank you for the marks of our fathers. Bless them, encourage them, equip them, refresh them.
Thank you for the memories of Dads who now live with you. We honor you for life and better life with you.
Bless the next generation of fathers we pray. Help them and each of us to bear marks that reflect you.
In your name, amen.
#fathers #brothers #men
#dads #mentors #yourlivesmatter
#victoryinJesus #ourFather

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