Sunday, June 20, 2010


I remember standing in the small bathroom, every Sunday when I was little, watching my dad shave.  He used an old fashioned metal razor with blades on both sides.  He would squirt a rather large mound of shaving cream in his hands and then touch it lightly all over the lower half of his face, like you would spread meringue over a pie.   Beautiful, shiny white peaks and valleys covered every part of his neck, chin, cheeks, and carefully applied over his upper lip (purse lips, apply generously, relax mouth to reveal pink lips unpainted in cream).   It smelled clean. He would hold beside his ear and slowly bring the razor down across his skin, gathering the white cream, now encapsulating the unwanted whiskers, and leaving the  peach skin soft and smooth behind.  It was clean and precise like a  perfectly mowed lawn. Even the difficult bits (upper lip and chin) were dealt with in a slow, precise, and gentle manner.  All the while he would be humming a tune, or whistling a church brown eyes wide open, hardly blinking, so I wouldn't miss even one stroke. (I should mention that he also showed me that a little piece of toilet paper would patch up a nic in no time...).
     After church, when most everyone else had disappeared to their private laziness and mom was busy in the kitchen, I would sit on his lap and he would read the comics out loud to me. "No, dad... I only like the funny ones...not the serious ones."  I would remind him every week. He would read the serious ones anyway, trying to put exciting voice inflections in so that I might change my mind. I would listen impatiently, waiting for him to finish Prince Valiant and get to Blondie and Dagwood.

 Many  years later, a friend and I ....after having a really long heart to heart talk about God and forgiveness and repentance...(you know about those long heart to hearts, right?) anyway...I told her that God was merciful and kind and would forgive....she said that she could only imagine God as a "fire-and brimstone" kind of God.  One that exacted punishment for the wicked and the sinners, and that repentance was won only through immense suffering.

  I don't know....I must have come across my idea of Heavenly Father from somewhere....maybe it was watching a gentle, kind, imperfect man, teach by example how to clean up where needed, patch up a mistake, and patiently endure...even through the serious parts of life. 

Today, I  will  honor my Father...which ask?....Both of them is my answer.  My Heavenly, and earthly father.   I imagine they are pretty much the same.


Kenzie said...

That is awesome Denise. I miss you and I LOVE that photo of your parents. Classic.

Becky said...

What a fun story from your childhood. I remember doing that with my dad too when I was little. Thanks for sharing. I agree that Grandpa was pretty great!

April said...

That touched my heart. Thank you for sharing...Love you!