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Friday, January 25, 2008

Have you talked to your father lately?

I've been thinking about my dad a lot lately. He passed away in July 2004, and sometimes it seems I miss him more instead of less as time goes by.

Before a condition called hepatic encephalopathy clouded his brain, I used to love having conversations with my dad. I wrote this on my blog in May of 2004, before his death that July:

"As a teen, I often disagreed with my father, but he never belittled me or made me feel like I couldn't express my viewpoints respectfully. It's interesting how, down through the years, I've swung around to his way of thinking on so many things!

"Since my folks have lived in the Austin area, every time I visited Texas, my dad and I would take long walks together. These were supposed to be fitness walks, as he and I both were always trying to lose some weight and become more fit. But even as they helped me physically, they turned into wonderful occasions for long conversations.

"I can recall many times when he would want to go on a walk and I would try to beg out of it, especially when the Texas sun was blazing particularly hot. But I usually gave in and dragged out my walking shoes, because even in those days, I knew that time with my dad was precious and wouldn't last forever.

"Now, I'm so glad I had all those conversations with my dad. I'll always treasure them."

I thought about those conversations a while back when I ran across this article about the daughter of Charlie Chaplin.

Apparently, although she lived in the same house with her aging father, Jane Chaplin didn't have her first and only meaningful private conversation with him until she was 17 years old, and it lasted only about 17 minutes. In fact, the book she is writing about him is entitled "Seventeen minutes with my father."

According to the article, "Jane said she grew up fearing rather than knowing her father, and being constantly told by her mother and by servants that that he was a genius and she would never match him."

How incredibly sad! I can't help but compare it to the many lengthy conversations I had with my dad during the 40-plus years I had with him...too many minutes, too many hours of conversation to even begin to count.

The spiritual application here is glaringly obvious. How many of us Christians live in our Father's house, blessed children of the King, and rarely take the opportunity to speak to Him?

I don't know if Charlie Chaplin would have wanted more contact with his daughter, although he was apparently kind and gracious to her during that seventeen minutes they shared. Obviously he did nothing to try to build a relationship with her. But our Father wants to communicate with us...he seeks companionship with us!

I know I don't take enough advantage of this wonderful benefit of being a child of God. I can't talk with my earthly father now, but I do have a heavenly Father that loves me and wants to speak with me, and He is the creator of the universe.

Amazing and awe-inspiring.

My prayer: Father, thank you that you love me even more than my earthly father did...and that you are vitally interested in everything that concerns me. Thank you for the privilege of being able to speak to you, daughter to father! May I never take this wonderful privilege for granted. In your precious name, Amen.

(Based on a post on my blog from January of 2006.)

--Cindy Swanson

Visit Cindy's personal blog:


Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

What a sweet post!

So often the way we see our Heavenly Father is based on the relationship we had (or have) with our earthly dad. May we all realize that He is the perfect Father and we are His treasured children!

Thanks for sharing.

January 25, 2008 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

This was a great reminder to us to take every moment we can with our heavenly Father. He loves us so much. Great writing!

January 25, 2008 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Leti said...

Cindy, how wonderful that you had such a beautiful relationship with you earthly father. I've been thinking of my dad. He passed away in 1991, and no I did not have a relationship with him (long story) and yes, I kind of brought that "thinking" when I accepted the Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. But praise God that through His Word, He has made me fill loved, wanted and adored. How can I not love a Father like this. And to top it off, this Father, made a way for me to be with Him for all good is that! Praise be to God for his indescribably gift! Thanks for sharing.

January 25, 2008 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...


That was so beautiful. I love my Dad, I love your Dad, and I love Charlie Chaplin, so you can see why I liked this post! What a wonderful reminder of who are Father is, and the opportunity that we have of speaking with Him.

January 25, 2008 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

I am quite fortunate to still have my dad at 89 years old. We go to breakfast and Walmart every Tuesday and Friday. Two evening a week, he spends with my family and the rest of the evenings with my sister and her husband. Your analogy of speaking to God the Father and our dads is great! I know I don't talk with God nearly as much as I should.....Cindi

January 25, 2008 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Mary Lou said...

What a blessing. Made me see my earthly daddy in my head...and he's been gone since 1976. We werent' close, but I knew he loved me and he did everything he ever could for me....I felt secure in his love for me....I feel secure in my heavenly father's love too. I talk to Him far more than I ever talked to daddy. I am so grateful for my Abba Father, whom I talk to all day long....and even in the middle of the night....Thanks for this reminder....Mary Lou at dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

January 25, 2008 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

That is a beautiful tribute to your father and our Heavenly Father.

I love my Dad and cherish childhood memories, I wish that I could spend time with my Dad now, but that is difficult.
He divorced my Mom seven years ago and moved out of state with his new wife. Yes, very messy situation. Instead of dealing with it, he left all of us.
My heart breaks sometime when I think about him. I miss him terrible.
We can talk on the phone, but it's very surface and it's obvious that he has a new life now and prefers that.

The Lord ministered to my heart years ago that He loved me so much more than I could ever imagine. I hold on to that and am so thankful for a Daddy that will never leave me.


January 25, 2008 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Calling my dad tonight beause of you. And I didn't miss the spiritual application, either.

January 25, 2008 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger lori said...

My daddy's birthday was last weekend and I posted a special tribute to him...he LOVED it....
doing something little for the man who did so much for me!!
I loved this...

if you want to see my daddy and the smiles....go to

we have been blessed...
what a BEAUTIFUL post!!

January 25, 2008 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Bless you for such a precious post.

January 25, 2008 at 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this most beautiful post! My dad was murdered in 1982. Sometimes it just seems like it was yesterday! I miss him more than words can ever say! He was a great and Godly example to me and he left a legacy in how to love others! He has been an inspiration to me that will last until I see Christ and my wonderful dad!

Thank you, again! May the Lord bless you!

January 25, 2008 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

It makes me smile to read about grown women still lovin' on their Daddies! My experience was more like Sue's (above) with the addition of Dad having a drug problem all of my life. So many, many wasted years without relationship. One year ago, God reached my Dad, and he is now sober and he and Mom are trying to build a relationship - (an answer to many years of prayer) But, after years of addiction, his health problems along with his 'tilted' view of life make relationships difficult. When I hear women talk about genuine, close relationships with their fathers, I wonder what that would be like.
How amazingly blessed are you sweet ladies who had the privilege of growing up with a strong, sober, Godly, protective Daddy!! Make it a point to hug him extra tight the next time you see him!
A most AWESOME post Cindy, as you can see by the heartfelt responses!

January 26, 2008 at 1:35 AM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

ahhh, how very true! Thank you for this!

January 26, 2008 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Cory said...

This is a wonderful post. It reminds me that I need to spend more time on a daily basis talking with my Father. Thank you, Cory

January 26, 2008 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, my dad died 2 yrs ago and it still hurts, I miss him so!! Yes we do have to build on our relationship with our heavenly Father. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. Thanks and God Bless.

January 26, 2008 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

What a great post. I love the way you compared the two. My dad died when my son was one year old. We had a special relationship but nothing that I can compare to my heavenly father. My dad was an alcoholic and had many problems. I am so happy that the Lord came into my life. I finally know the peace that passes ALL understanding. You were very blessed to have a wonderful dad. Great tribute to him. Thanks for such a sweet post. God Bless!

January 27, 2008 at 8:55 AM  

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