Of Love and Grace: A Father’s Forgiveness

A father can be a forever friend, especially to a girl who is wildly crazy about him. The love of a good father brings security and satisfaction. It teaches a child that an even greater Father loves them and can be trusted with their very soul. I know, because I had that kind of dad, and now have that kind of Father.

My family consisted of five little girls. A boy was never part of God’s plan, and that was okay with my dad. He loved his girls more than anything. Dad would take us fishing and show us how to bait a hook. He roughed housed until my mom would make him stop out of our sheer exhaustion, but we loved every minute of it.

He rescued stray bunnies from the grips of our family pet, and tended to a stunned bird outside our back door, at my horrified pleas. My dad could fix anything from broken toys to broken hearts. He was the best conversationalist, and had the kindest smile.

I remember one summer after I had just turned 16. I had taken my dad’s prized truck over to visit my boyfriend. I wouldn’t be gone too long and promised to be careful.

That evening as I was backing out of their driveway, and with a combination of a careless teen aged moment and inexperience, I backed into and over their mailbox, then left as they stood in the driveway with mouths wide open.

I was devastated and embarrassed. Dad was going to be so disappointed at the noticeable gouge down the side of the truck.

After coming home, I went straight to my room and waited for the hammer to fall. Hours ticked by. Nothing.

Finally, I knew the inevitable was to come. It was dark now, and I found my dad outside on the back porch just looking at the stars.

“Dad…I’ve got to confess something. I wrecked your truck.”

Tears began to flow down my cheeks. I just knew he would never forgive me, but then, he looked up at me with compassion in his eyes and said, “Are you hurt?”

“No.”

“Then that is all that matters. Trucks can be replaced, but daughters can’t.”

I never loved that man more than at that moment. Not because I had gotten off the hook, but I had witnessed the greatest moment of forgiveness in all my life. With every right to yell and condemn, my father offered grace.

From that time on, I realized how much my dad resembled my Heavenly Daddy. When all I had to offer was a wreck, He offered me forgiveness.

That, my friends, is one of the greatest lessons of love for any daughter…or son.

Kristi Neace

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