My Daddy died on April 1st 2005. Which I must tell you, I do still find just a bit hilarious. Daddy was such a prankster, a joker, and had just the best and silliest sense of humor - so really, it should have come as no surprise to me that God picked April Fools Day to bring him home :)
But here I am, almost 6 years later, sitting on the couch, unable to sleep, and missing my Daddy tonight.
I recently lost not just my job of 13 years, but my biggest outlet for personal ministry. But tonight its not so much about that, as how taken aback I am with how deeply I still need my Daddy.
Don't get me wrong, I have seen God moving in my life very specifically during this change and season.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5
And I am a blessed woman in that He is speaking and loving on me when I most need it.
Matthew 6:8 “Your Father knows the things you have need of, before you ask Him.”
But when I feel any sense of loss, or a feeling of being lost myself, I not only want my heavenly Father but I always want my earthly Daddy too!
I just want to be able to talk with him. Be able to sit with him. To pour out my heart to him, to let him just love me as he listens.
Daddy was a good listener.
You know how it is when someone isn't. There you are sharing your core self, your thoughts, your innermost feelings, and you slowly become aware that at some point the person you are with has already jumped a full 2 minutes ahead of you in the conversation. They really aren't hearing half of what you say because they somehow feel that what they're about to share with you next will completely change the way you look at the world and bring you to great enlightenment so they can hardly concentrate on anything else. You know what I'm talking about. In fact you can envision their face. Yep, me too.
But not Paul Rush. A man with a lifetime of experience, who loved God, loved me, and truly wanted to help never rushed to respond. He always made sure he was hearing clearly the cry of my heart, that each feeling I had was expressed, and that he never interrupted me. He simply listened. It was important to him to understand me. Then, if I hadn't already fleshed out my own answer - which tends to happen if we take the time to talk through it out loud - he would then quietly began to ask me questions. The questions I hadn't thought to ask because I was too wrapped up in the emotion and hurt, or the questions I had dared not ask myself because I feared having to look deep enough to answer them.
One of the other things I also miss about how well my Daddy listened was that at some point, at exactly the right time, he would use that wonderful sense of humor of his to make me laugh (no doubt also why I was attracted to my husband, who still makes me laugh so hard each day). It was never too soon so that I didn't feel like he wasn't taking me seriously. Never at the wrong moment where I could have taken it that he was uncomfortable with our talk. And never just thrown in randomly at the end to try and wrap it up too soon. It always came from a place of love, care, and when and where he was led by the Holy Spirit.
Paul Rush was a man, a marine, a pastor, and a tradesman of a different generation - this all could have easily added up to him being a no nonsense kind of a guy. Things could have been very very different. He could have assessed the situations I brought him, complied the evidence quickly, determined the most plausible course of action I should take, and have been done.
But Daddy was a good listener. He loved me through that. And I really wish I could talk with him now. Sometimes a girl just misses her Daddy...