Father's Back

Mark’s dad died in a work-related accident.  A steel girder fell on his head during construction of a bridge.   He left three children, all under the age of four.  My son-in-law, Mark, the oldest, has two younger sisters. 

When I think of family love, I see the upside of this tragedy.  Mark’s family grew up in a large Victorian home with other family members.  Also, cousins lived close by.  The family did life together and, even today, lives in close proximity.  I enjoy them on Facebook; my feed rolls with photos of their antics and laughter.

Mark and Amy asked us to drop by their house to feed their cat when they drove up to the mountains to spend the weekend with his siblings and cousins.  They celebrated a cousin’s birthday.  One heartfelt present brought tears to Amy’s eyes when she told us about it when they came home.

The gift, a box of old photos, entertained the group as they each reached in and grabbed a handful of memories from their youth.  Gail, the youngest sister, broke into a happy smile when she stumbled across a photo of her mom and dad.  She treasures photos of him but never saw this one before!  The picture, taken from behind, revealed more than a pose.  She viewed her dad’s stature and observed his physique from the back and she couldn’t contain her excitement.

“That’s what he looked like walking next to my mom!”

My heart tugged when Amy choked up from Gail’s reaction.  She described Gail as lit up from head to toe as she viewed her dad from a different angle.  

I remember when Moses met up with Father God in the mountains and enjoyed close man-to-God conversations.  Moses wanted more and he begged God to let him see Him physically.  God told him no because man cannot view His glory while alive in this body.  But Moses would not back down.  Father placed him in a cleft of the rock and passed by him to let him view only his back.   It satisfied Moses!  Exodus 33:20-23.

We want to see our fathers.  We want to feel their touch and hear their voice.  We want to be with them.  We want to feel their embrace.

Scripture explains that when Moses came down from being with God in the mountain, his face shone so bright he had to cover it with a veil. 

Gail, thrilled to hold an old photo of her dad, lit up the room.  Her jubilant mood affected the cabin and made everyone happy.

I reflect on Gail and Moses and the joy that radiated from their faces.  How do we bring inspiration and joy to others? 

They looked to their father.  I think I will quiet down and do the same.


  1. Wow, Mary ... this is such a heartfelt testimony of perspective! I nearly choked up myself, picturing Gail's excitement. What I wouldn't give to recall my father's touch, his voice.

    How DO we bring inspiration and joy to others? Now that's a poser for the season!

  2. This is so touching, Mary! Sometimes when I am alone I think of my father, who died in 1984 at the age of 64...his gentle manner, his touch, his voice, his smile.

  3. I think I need to do the same as you; look to my Father. My earthly father died when I was 18 months old, so I don't have any memories of him, just those shared by my now 10 year deceased mom. My heavenly father, though, I can turn to his word and I have so much he has given to me. My eyes need to be more focused on him indeed.


  4. Thank you sweet sister for a beautiful, encouraging post.

  5. Oh Mary, this is so beautiful. I'm busy tearing up as I read (tears of joy that is). You write so beautifully, from your heart. I think always being grateful for everything we have is the best way to bring joy to others. That's because gratitude always brings joy, and people can see that joy reflected on our faces, and yes we do glow with happiness ... probably the light of His Holy Spirit shining through.
    Love and blessings,
    Jo'Anne xoxo

  6. Such a beautiful and heartfelt post, Mary...Having lost my dad at an early age, I can so relate to Mark's sister's reaction at seeing her dad's picture from a new perspective....God blesses us in so many and unexpected ways....

  7. Beautiful, Mary! And such a wonderful insight into that moment for Moses! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Reading your post felt like I was there with them and seeing the joy from Gail's eyes. It is difficult to lose a parent at a young age yet she never forgot her father! Stories like these make me believe more that love does transcend! You know the story when my father was dying but it was his love for us that produced tears of joy instead of sadness, to have courage instead of fear, to turn that moment into celebration instead of despair. And why? Because he started talking about the Good Father as he faced his physical departure from this place. I love that you tied up the story with Moses reflecting God's glory. I bet that get together would always be remembered by those who had seen that beautiful moment from a daughter who adored her father. Your faith always blesses mine. Well, geez! It increases that, too. Each time I visit you! God bless you sister.

  9. This brought tears to my eyes. For her to be blessed by a photo like that is such a wonderful testimony. How much I would love to have a glimpse of Jesus. Moses' heart was for the Father and He was rewarded with a glimpse. Have a blessed week.

  10. Hi Mary! Your opening sentence just stopped me in my tracks. Wow. Some people carry such burdens. And yet, you say you see the blessing in it, and that so beautiful.
    I can relate a little bit, in that we found photos of my dad when he was younger after he died. I'd never seen them before either, and it was so fun to see them, and see another part of his life. What a fun time for the family to see their father in a new way!
    I hope you had a beautiful prayer time, doing the same.

  11. That is so wonderful when the happiness of others spills out and creates a ripple of joy for all those present. An old photo but such a new look at Dad. I loved your story and the illustration of Moses looking at God. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story. Also thank you for your comments which mean so much to me.

  12. Oh, what would we do without Him? I am so thankful we can go to Him anytime for anything we need. Even when our earthly fathers are gone, He will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you for sharing this moving story, sweet friend. Love and appreciate you so much!

  13. As usual, you have shared to many people re: many situations. Thank you for entering in again. Worth a heart-worshiping, praying, and focusing with and through you. Bless you....

  14. What an amazing heartfelt gift. This touched my heart in a very emotional way as I imagine what it is like to walk in that family's shoes. I can't imagine what life would have been like without my dad.

    After five years without him… posts like this choke me up. Good people have a way of teaching and guiding us even after their gone. What a gift from God.

  15. A beautiful story told in a heartfelt fashion Mary. You have a way of writing that digs deep into life's experiences, and then bring it around to having that story teach a spiritual lesson. How wonderful it is that our Heavenly Father will never leave us or forsake us. Enjoyed my visit here today :)

  16. I can imagine the excited Gail! Thank you for your beautiful sharing. My father died when I was only 7 years old and I can still remember his gentle eyes. Having a loving earthly father makes it easier for me to draw close to my Heavenly Father.

  17. Awe...thanks for sharing this with us. Your piles of smiles always makes me smile! And sometimes shed a tear. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  18. Beautiful post, Mary. My dad died nearly two years ago and I'm learning new things about him all the time as I find old diaries and photo albums. It's such a blessings to have these memories of him. Have a blessed day!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Too Many Voices

Prayer and the Middle Child

My Choice for Women's Day