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My Father Is Jehovah – And I Know Him Thanks to My Dad

When I was 17, I took a composition class between my junior and senior years of high school to get some early college credits. For one assignment I had to write an essay about my father. Dad died July 23 at age 78, so as I prepared his eulogy, I found that paper to see what my teenage self thought of him.

This is how I started it:

My father’s name is Jack Lee Glover. He is a lab technician at Union Carbide in Sistersville. He has brown and gray hair – what hair he has – and brown eyes. He stands 5 feet 7 inches, and weighs 145 pounds.

From there I talked about Dad’s service as a city councilman and emergency medical technician, his work in the church, and the time he spent with family, including an amazing cross-country road trip. I ended with an observation about how he used his time away from home wisely by serving his town, the church or neighbors.

I scored an undeserved “A” for my pitiful writing -- “a fine job,” the clueless professor said -- but most of the words I penned then seem wholly inadequate to describe my father. I always admired Dad, but at that age I knew so little about the depth of his character, the soul of the man, that I couldn’t possibly have captured his essence when I was such a dreadful writer.

Job title? Hair and eye color? Height? Weight? How could I have thought such superficial attributes defined my Dad? The effects of osteoporosis robbed him of nearly six inches by the end of his 78 years, but in spiritual stature he towered over many men.

City councilman and EMT? Those are praiseworthy public services, but they are relatively insignificant endeavors in the grand scheme of eternity. At various times in his life, Dad served God as an elder, a deacon and a preacher. Those were roles that shaped the faith of his family and of many other people in the Ohio Valley and beyond. In his retirement years, he dedicated significant time to creating and managing a religious website, BibleStudyPage.com.

Weeks before his death, Dad heard a sermon about redeeming the time (Eph. 5:15) that touched his heart. Plagued by a series of injuries, illnesses and diseases in recent years, including a hip that he broke after falling asleep while reading his Bible standing up, the sermon made Dad wonder whether he was redeeming his remaining time on Earth to God’s glory. That’s what mattered to him.

In other words, my essay deserved an “F” because I not only crafted a laughable lead, but I entirely missed the point of my Dad’s life. So today I’m going to try again.

Next page: See the precious rewrite.