The Light My Dad Taught Me to See

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My daddy is the best at finding shooting stars. When I was a little girl, I loved space. I dressed like Saturn for Space Day in Kindergarten. Hula-hoops and my sparkly pink belts were my rings. My daddy knew I was fascinated, probably taught me the fascination, and so, when he heard there would be shooting stars, he told me he would wake me up. I went to sleep excited. He tucked me into bed, we said our goodnight prayers, and then, not too many hours later, he woke me up again. His voice was gentle and his arms were strong as he carried me downstairs. I think I remember wrapping up in a blanket as we sat together on the deck. The stars were incredible that night. It was one of those displays of nature that hadn’t happened in centuries, and wasn’t predicted to occur again for centuries more. Daddy taught me how to watch the fire fly. I didn’t need to make a wish; everything I needed was right there, holding me and teaching me about shooting stars.

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A few weeks ago, the Camelopardalids shower beckoned. My dad ducked into the bunk-bed room I shared with my littlest sister and her friend. He told us he was going to watch the stars. It was just after 10:00, and I pulled on a sweatshirt to greet the Virginia night. Deep in the country, away from city lights, the stars sparkled. The only trouble on that quiet night was distinguishing the lightening bugs from the shooting stars. I saw a few meteors, but for every one I saw, my dad seemed to see three. He always pointed them out to us, even though we could barely see where his hand pointed in the dark night.

Maybe it comes from the training in finding seashells he had as a boy spending summers on the beach with big brothers. Maybe he’s just had practice walking strong in the Light that he recognizes light when in flashes. All these years later, my daddy remained the best at finding shooting stars.

To me, my dad is the best at many things. He is the best math explainer, the best at making me laugh, the best present unwrapper, the best hugger, the best travel planner, the best spiritual mentor, the best car washer, and the best grace giver. After all the constellations had been pointed out, and the dots connected, the lightning bugs counted, and the stars fallen, we stood to go inside and my dad sang a line from a Rich Mullin’s song that, because of his great music instruction, was already playing in my head,

“Sometimes I think of Abraham
How one star he saw had been lit for me
He was a stranger in this land
And I am that, no less than he
And on this road to righteousness
Sometimes the climb can be so steep
I may falter in my steps
But never beyond Your reach
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You”

I may be a stranger in this land, but I have a daddy who is the best at showing me the guiding Light. Through his life and all of his “bests,” he has shared with me the Light of a Father who created the stars. God lit the sky and fulfilled his promise to an ancient son, through sacrificing His Son. With power and strength that cause stars to fly and grace that keeps comets from smashing into the Earth, God loves us enough to call us His children and to be our Father. I hope the song will be true, may I ever praise this great Father.

Thank you, Daddy, for teaching me to see the stars.

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