Fathers Heart When He Forgets
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The humility of the fathers heart when he realizes he has
been treating his small son like an adult is a moving Christian lifestyle story.
It is about the humility of a father who is able to realize
he has held too high expectations for his small son.
Listen son, I'm saying this as you lie asleep, one little
paw crumpled under your cheek, and the blond curls wet on your damp forehead. I
have quietly slipped into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat
reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me.
Guiltily I came to your bedside.
These are the things that were on your fathers heart son; I
had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you
gave your face merely a dab with the towel. I took you to task for not cleaning
your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the
At breakfast, I found fault too. You spilled things. You
gulped to your food down. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter to
thick on your bread. As you started off to play and I made for work, you turned
and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye daddy!” and I frowned and said in reply,
“Hold your shoulders back!”
Your fathers heart is sad now to think that it began all
over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road, I spied you, down on
your knees, playing marbles. There will hold in your stockings and I humiliated
you before your friends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were
expensive -- and if you had to buy them, you would be more careful! Imagine that
son, from your fathers heart!
Do you remember later when I was reading in the library how
you came in, timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up
over my paper, impatient at the Interruption, you hesitated at the door. "What
is it you want?" I snapped.
You said nothing but ran across the room and with one
tempestuous plunge you threw your arms around my neck and kissed me; your small
arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and
which even the neglect of my fathers heart could not weather. Then you were
gone, pattering upstairs.
Well son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped
from my hands and a terrible, sickening fear came over me. What has happened at
doing to me? What kind of fathers heart do I have? The habit of finding fault,
of reprimanding, this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I
did not love you; it was that I expected too much of you in your youth. I was
measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.
There is so much that is good and fine in your character.
The little heart of you is as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. You
showed me this by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me tonight.
Nothing else matters tonight son. I've come to your bedside in the darkness, my
fathers heart broken, melted or ashamed!
It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand
these things if I told them to you during your waking hours because you are too
young yet to receive it. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I would come with
you, and suffer when you suffer and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue
when inpatient words come. I will keep saying, as if it were a ritual: “He is
nothing but a boy, a little boy!"
I'm afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you
now son, crumpled in your bed, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you
were in your mother's arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much,
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