One of my all-time favorite songs is The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics. Even though I was just a kid when it came out, that song drew me in a way that I wish I could talk to my dad. Back when Casey Kasem used to host American Top 40, people could request a “long distance dedication” song accompanied with their words for someone significant in their life. I always believed I would write Casey when my dad passed away and request that song as my long distance dedication to my dad. (I also must have assumed Kasem was never going to retire either, since I was only 12 and my dad was in perfectly fine shape.) Fast-forward to May 22, 2016, and my father did pass away. The song’s words still move my heart like they did almost 30 years ago:
Say it loud, say it clear. You can listen as well as you hear. It’s too late when we die to admit we don’t see eye to eye. I wasn’t there that morning when my father passed away. I didn’t get to tell him all the things I had to say…
My dad and I didn’t say I love you the way we should’ve. And no, I didn’t get to tell him all the things I wanted to say. But…three years ago, on Father’s Day 2013, I sat down with him and had one of the rare heart to heart talks we ever had. When it was all said and done, I told my dad I loved him, I forgave him, and I prayed over him. I truly believe that is the day God set me free of any unresolved “father wounds” I had. And it’s one of the main reasons I am so at peace with his death today. Sure, I mourn. I loved my dad but I also know it could have been much worse as not everyone in my family was able to find closure with him. For that today I thank God for leading me to talk with my dad.
Do you have unresolved issues with someone you love? Tomorrow may be too late, so say it loud and say it soon. A wound will only become infected if it is left untreated; and Christ is the only One who can heal us completely. I pray you find that strength through Him today.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city,
spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.
What is your life?
You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Instead, you ought to say,
“If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Parents, who do you need to forgive, ask forgiveness from, or say “I love you” to today?
By Matt Haviland
Husband to Christy
Dad of one daughter
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of A Father’s Walk
Author of A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resource for Single Fathers, co-author of The Daddy Gap
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