Thu October 28, 2021

By Shelly B Short

Hey Dad!

Pastor Daniel Bramlett

My dad has been gone for a little over a month now. I still catch myself wanting to call him or thinking “Dad is going to love this!” If you’ve walked the grief road you know what I’m talking about.

One of the things I’ve asked the Lord for grieving folks is dreams. Over the years I’ve had lots of dreams that I will attribute to the Lord; many I still remember. But these are different. These dreams leave me longing for Heaven, thankful I was able to hear my dad’s voice and missing him more than ever.

In the last dream he was just smiling. He was coming down the sidewalk toward me and said “Hey Pard!” (That’s what he called me from the time I was born.) That was enough to bring me to tears the next day. The first dream was more involved. 

Dad was one of our greeters at Church forever. People loved his smile, his handshake and his frequent nicknames he would offer. In the dream I was helping him at our Main Street entrance. We were talking to folks and before we knew it the service had begun. I said “Let’s go in, Dad. Worship has already started.” He said “No, I have to go home.” I repeated myself with more emphasis “Dad! Come on! We’re going to be late. You can’t miss today.” He just said it again, “No. I have to go home.” He walked outside and I went in to worship. And then I woke up.

I didn’t think much about that dream until later in the morning. I was preparing for a funeral and it dawned on me that I never got to say “bye” to dad. God had just given me the opportunity. Dad knew where he was going. There was a certainty in his face and words. He was going home. I broke when I realized the gift God had given me. I got to tell my dad goodbye. 

I’ll remember these dreams forever, just like I’ll carry the memory of my dad. I treasure the sound of his voice, the tender way his calloused hands shook mine and the way he would look me in the eye and tell me he was proud of me. But I can’t live like this for the rest of my life. I can’t walk around town, teary, with the memory of my dad hovering over me. I have a void only a dad can fill. I need a dad. 

I had to ask my Faithful Father to fill this hole. After the last dream and the tears that followed, I thanked Him for the dream and began asking Him to please be my dad. I need to hear His voice, feel His embrace and know His presence. I will keep having questions only my dad can answer. I’m not going to just magically stop needing a father. I need a dad. I asked God to be mine. The tears haven’t dried up completely, but they are certainly less. I still miss the dad God gave me for 40+ years, but I am learning to trust my new one. I’ll see my dad again one day, but until then I know I am not fatherless. 

What about you? Those of you who’ve lost a parent have a God who is ready to serve in that role. Those who have walked through the death of a spouse or a good friend are in the company of a God who is capable of being your husband, wife and friend. He will love you, listen to you and care for you. Will you let Him? 

I think this may have been the most influential decision I’ve made since my dad died. I know he’s not gone. He’s just not here anymore. While I can’t put my arms around Him for the time being, I can put my arms around One who’s a little bit bigger. He is more than sufficient. He’s a good dad, too.