15 June 2008

A Father's Day Message

I had forgotten. Despite the omnipresent flow of slick mailbox ads and TV commercials announcing the coming holiday, it had completely slipped my mind.

"We welcome you to church this beautiful Father's Day afternoon, and would like to especially recognize all the fathers and fathers-to-be in the congregation."

The words snapped my chin up and echoed in my ears as I hastily rerouted the red pen in my hand. I had been flipping through the sacrament program, editing spelling mistakes (I'm really not THAT type of teacher) and making semi-witty alterations--changing the statement "Missionaries Love Letters!" to the intriguing title of a future spot in the New Era: "Missionaries' Love-Letters!"--that sort of thing. With this not-so-gentle reminder, however, I quickly scrawled the word 'Dad' on my hand, as a reminder to call later that day. I jotted the note-to-self on the front of my hand so that although I would see it, no one else would notice the mark of an inconsiderate son.

Although I am equipped with a fairly well-functioning brain, it sometimes does not process everything it really ought to. Within moments of the reminder, my brain was already using up all of its circuitry on my upcoming sustaining as a primary worker. The opening hymn registered only a vague "Well, I don't think of sung this one before," completely missing the depth of its title and first line: "Our Father, by whose name all fatherhood is known..."

It wasn't until the sacrament hymn that I finally made the connection. As we sang "God Loved Us So He Sent His Son," I happened to glance down at my hand. There, written in the palm of my hand, in bright red ink, was the word 'Dad'. Not exactly stigmata, but the message was clear.

I imagine that as the Savior hung on the cross, the ultimate act of His love for every person who has ever lived on this earth, He was not thinking about any mortal man. In that moment of utmost love and pain and trial, I imagine Christ looking to His greatest source of strength and support.

I think that Jesus thought about His dad.

I love you, Pop.

Happy Father's Day.