If you were to ask my father, he would readily admit that he cannot carry a tune in a bucket. Throughout his career as a United Methodist minister, he would cut the mic when it was time to sing the hymns. But that never stopped him from singing. Because he was always up in front of the sanctuary, I never really got to hear the sound of his voice. I only knew the sound of my daddy singing "Happy Birthday" to me, or making up some silly lullaby or song when we were traveling from Indiana to Pennsylvania to visit my grandparents when I was growing up. And, well, that sound was, how can I put this, unusual! His rhymes didn't always rhyme and his words were usually made up as he went along, but he always seemed to be able to make me smile.
A couple of weeks ago, I was standing beside my father in church and I could hear him singing the words to "Amazing Grace" and I was moved to tears. My dad did not have an angelic voice. He did not sing in key. It was pitchy and off rhythm. But it was perhaps the sweetest sound that I have ever heard. I heard a faith that is unwavering. I heard acceptance and surrender. I heard hope. I heard love. I could not have loved my father any more than I did at that very moment. I only wish that I had had the courage to tell him so.
I have been truly blessed to have a father who is loving, compassionate, understanding, accepting, and forgiving. I have been through some pretty significant struggles over the past 25 years and never have I felt alone or abandoned by my father. He has given when he may not have felt like he had much to give without hesitation. And he has never stopped believing in me. I could not have asked for a better man to call my dad!