On another note...
When others used to ask me about my parents' faith, I would often respond in saying that my mom is a Christian and that my dad is not. For those of you who been with me throughout my journey into Orthodoxy the last 4 years, you might have noticed that my response to the aforementioned question has changed as it relates to my dad.
Though it is true that my father is not a man of the church, he is a man who has specifically told me he believes that Christ is the Son of God, that he can/will save us, and that he prays for me almost every night. Now as is the case with every individual, those things just mentioned are a matter not for me to worry about but are to be held between my father and God.
Though never a "Christian" in my protestant, evangelical understanding, as my faith has been revolutionized over the last few years, I have come to see far more of Christ in my father than in many I've actually attended church with.
I can say with much certainty that my dad has exemplified love and giving in ways many others may never see. I don't know that there is anyone else (perhaps with the exception of my mom) who has shown me what it means to love, serve, and help others out of a pure heart like he has.
Well, tonight I was again reminded that God is still at work in my dad's life even though, as I said, he isn't 'a church man.'
You see, on Friday night my dad and I had a phone conversation that got a bit heated. That's something that's really not normal for us. I can count on one hand the number of times in the last 4-5 years that my dad and I have really clashed. I will say, this particular conversation was one of the worst clashes we've had in terms of the conversation's ramifications on my soul and spirit. I came to the decision after we had our spat that I just needed to wait until my dad was ready to call me before I could talk to him again. (that is, I should wait for him to call me to reestablish lines of communication.) Now, normally my dad's stubbornness is likened to that of a mule. ...leading me to believe it might just be a while before we talked. (which is another element that is out of the ordinary as I usually speak with both of my parents everyday.)
Well, by God's grace, my dad called tonight. I greeted him like I usually do and the first thing out of his mouth was "Will you please forgive me for what I pulled on the phone the other night?"
My jaw literally dropped as my heart melted. 'Of course, dad. I forgive you. I'll never not forgive you."
He started to cry and again asked for my forgiveness, apologizing for being so hot headed with me.
It may seem to be a small thing, but my dad's willingness to mend our relationship was incredibly humbling to me. Though I can't say with certainty that it was the very first time he has asked for such a thing, my dad's phone call tonight to ask for forgiveness will forever be etched in my mind as a reminder of how true love is really lived out. Moreover, tonight's call will be a reminder of the great humility I've never really seen my dad live out. (and as a reminder that I am called to be equally as humble with those I see, love, and interact with on a daily basis.)