By Guest Blogger W.M. Satterwhite, III
Happy Fathers’ Day! We hope that all of our readers are enjoying this day with the dads in their lives. Since today is all about dads, we thought it was a perfect time to run a guest blog from a dad whom I truly admire, Dr. William Satterwhite. I hope you enjoy his story below and enjoy an everlasting day of your own! – RH
Beginning in the mid-1990s, I began experiencing debilitating pain in both feet and my left knee, reducing my previously active, then thirty-something-year-old body to that of a pained spectator of life, sitting rather than running, (or even walking), observing rather than participating. The joyful physical expression of life God had given me had been leached away by the pain of simply standing. My heart has mourned the loss of that part of me for years, but that mourning has increased as my older son has grown. Now taller than my wife, this thin, thirteen-year-old towering mass of awkwardness knew a father he only partly knows. The grey matter in his head contains nothing more than photo-album-memories of an active Dad.
But today was a different day. Today, I played basketball with my son. Two other neighborhood fathers and six other neighborhood children with ages ranging from eight to fifteen joined in the game. For this brief moment in time, there was no pain in my feet. My left knee did not make its usual searing squeal when I moved or jumped. Today, I was free. I was free to play with my son as I had always dreamed I would be able to do. I was free from the hot irons of pain that had gripped my lower limbs like an imprisoned captive of the Crusades. When we were finished, the gleaming moon was climbing up over the trees into the darkened blue sky. A cool wind was blowing. I wanted to cry with joy to the Lord for re-living nights of my youth with my look-a-like son. I wanted to fall on my knees and say, “Thank you, Lord, for this day, this moment. To live again, free and young, and as a father.”
The glory did not end with the game, however. Hours later, following supper, I found myself face-to-face in opposing chairs with that same boy, resting before the fireplace. We talked of nothing and of everything, without agendas or deadlines or phone calls. I spoke of the neighbors, not these neighbors, nor our neighbors, but neighbors of mine when I was a boy in this very same house many years ago. Before long, we were in his room sitting on his bed listening to some of his new CDs, such great hits like “Pinch Me” by the Bare Naked Ladies. We laughed at the lyrics and said we could do better. In no time, that bare, naked sound brought others in to join us: an eleven-year-old boy who was learning of the way of the world too quickly as younger siblings often do; and a two-year-old girl wearing a sleeper suit and carrying a naked Barbie doll (maybe she instinctively knew which CD we were listening to!).
And the music blared (“…I could hide out under there; I just made you say ‘underwear’…”) and children sat and stood and jumped on the bed (“We’re just bouncing, Daddy, not jumping!”), and I sat on the opposite bed and I said to myself, “Lord, do not let another minute pass! Command that the sun stand still so that I may inhale deeply this magical moment, this moment that makes all the tears and daily struggles of life so worth their agony, this moment when we are bound together in one timeless melody of family love.”
“Lord, please make this an everlasting day.”
And He did.
All rights reserved. W.M. Satterwhite, III