Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Heart Belongs to Daddy

"My son, give me your heart," entreated the wisest man in the world, "and let your eyes observe my ways."

I have been observing my Dad's ways for over five decades now. He knows the value of a child's heart and he has always done everything he could to build up the hearts of each of his children.

"Always seek to encourage those with whom you come into contact," he has said to us on many occasions. "Build up their hearts. The origin of the word itself has "heart" embedded in it ..."

I of course looked it up on dictionary.com:

the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain,
etc., without fearbravery.
Obsolete the heart as the source of emotion.
have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, 
especially in spite of criticism.
1250–1300; Middle English corage  < Old French,  equivalent to cuer  heart 
(< Latin cor;  see heart) + -age -age

"When you discourage someone, you're hurting their heart," Dad observed.

When Dad had to discipline us as we grew up, we always knew - although he never uttered that platitude - that it did indeed hurt him more than it hurt us. It got to the point that when we might be debating whether or not we should do something, "It'll hurt Dad" was often enough to stave off the action.

"Honey, keep their hearts": you disclosed in a Wednesday Bible study that you would say this to Mum on occasion. You don't harp on the inconsequential, which might do not much more than cause resentment. Because of this, when you speak, we listen.

You have indeed kept our hearts - not only the hearts of your family, but the hearts of your extended family at the Bible College as well. 

Your own heart has taken a beating, both physically and emotionally; but it still beats strong and true, an example to all of us who love you and have a place in your enormous heart.

Yesterday afternoon - the day after Father's Day, when this entry would already have been late - you stopped by the TH and had tea with me. We sat in the cozy wing chairs and sipped that most comforting of all beverages, this day sweetened with condensed milk and served in simple, comfortable mugs. We talked about being just, about justice being served, about the Justifier who took our penalty and how it all comes together without incongruity: "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other," says the 85th Psalm, verse 10.

"I never realised until recently that this happens twice," marvelled Dad. "It happened when Jesus died on the cross; but it also happens in each person when he or she accepts the gift of salvation, when we give our hearts to God and ask Him to take control of our lives ..."

What a blessing it is to have a father who has our hearts, and whose own heart is held in the hand of his heavenly Father!

Although this is late, I can't let this Father's Day time slip away entirely without saying Thank you, Dad, for recognising the value of a heart - of each heart. You encourage me to encourage others and to love with all my being.

I heart you.


  1. Lovely, Karyn... when's the devotional coming???

  2. He is a man after God's own heart. I love and respect him as a father. Every time I have been in his presence I feel as though I've been with Jesus. One could say, "He is Jesus to me." Thank you Mr. Ironside for letting so many of us see Jesus through you. I love that about you! How privileged I am to call you "friend".


I love to hear from you! Please leave me a leaf to read ...