This is a portion of the eulogy I gave at my father’s funeral in January, 1999.
My father was a good provider for his family and a diligent worker. After working long hours at INCO, he would often busy himself with work around the house or in the garden. He was not afraid to work with his hands and was quite resourceful, preferring to reupholster a chair or build his own end table rather than buy a new one. He was faithful to his wife and protective of his children. Although he was not great at expressing it verbally, his concern was always for his family. He encouraged us to be thorough and strive for excellence in what we did, and he set the example by being meticulous in everything he did, from watering tomato plants to writing letters.
My father learned responsibility as a young boy of 12, having to take care of his mother and sisters when his father went to fight in WW2. He taught us by his example to be faithful to our God-given responsibilities regardless of the cost.
I thank the Lord for giving me just the right father that I needed to mature in character and I thank God also for his mercy in allowing my father to die without pain or suffering. And most of all, I’m thankful that I have a perfect, loving Heavenly Father that promises in Psalm 68:5 to be “a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows”. Earthly fathers are human, and they will fail us at times. But there is a heavenly Father, God himself, who is always loving, always good, always humble, always gentle, always understanding, and always trustworthy. He is the only one who can truly meet all our needs and satisfy our innermost longings for love, security and happiness.
Since I became his child 35 years ago by asking Him to come into my life, my heavenly Father has proven to be the most wonderful, faithful Father I could have hoped for. And he will be that to you, too, if you will only invite him into your life and ask Him to make you His child. He longs for his children to come to him and trust him as a baby trusts his parents. My prayer for you is that “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Amen.