Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Draw me close to You, Never let me go.
I lay it all down again,
To hear you say that I’m your friend.”
“Draw Me Close,” Katinas
It was a long night that last night before he was born the next morning.
We had dinner with Lynda’s Mom and Dad, and then spent some time with long-time high school friends, who also were the best man and maid-of-honor in our wedding, and our soon-to-be-born child’s Godparents. And who today remain two of our dearest friends.
But that morning, of course, is one never forgotten. As the sun broke on that clear, crisp day those many years ago, it filled every unsuspecting available crevice and crook around us with hope, as we waited for word of his birth. We prayed for Lynda as we knew these would be some difficult and painful hours for her, but which she would gladly and proudly give for him—a harbinger of the depth of her love for him in the years to come. We passed up an opportunity to sample powdered eggs and other cafeteria offerings, and instead just waited, talked and dreamed together. Every now and then the thought as to whether I would have enough money from our nominal savings accumulated while in the US Air Force would be enough to pay for the hospital and doctors’ bills.
And then the word we anxiously awaited came. As the nurse introduced us to our son, I noticed that his new armband memorialized his birth at 10:54 a.m. on what was now an even more glorious Sunday morning on that February 9th day. After telling his Grandma, Granddaddy, Godparents and me not to touch him just yet, the nurse announced that the precious little boy in her arms weighed a very conservative 7 pounds, 5½ ounces and measured 20 ½ inches long. The perfect size and stature for whoever he would become, I remember thinking.
I have realized and been blessed by many things about our son since then and even this morning.
God blessed us with a son who is, thank goodness, smarter than me, has a kind and gentle spirit, is unselfish and sacrificial even to the point of being taken advantage of, and has a desire to lift others even if they end up coming out ahead of him. And who would have guessed that forty-five years later that young man, born that morning, and I, would be sharing thoughts and professional adventures in a variety of venues and ventures.
He strives to be the husband the Apostle Paul writes about in Ephesians chapter 5—“love your wives as Christ loved the church”—and the son and father Paul paints in Ephesians chapter 6—“honor your father and mother [and] bring [your children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
He is an accomplished man in so many ways. He has proven himself as a gifted, passionate and compelling author. His gentle, Christ-like nature engenders a positive impact on the lives of so many around him—including those of us close at hand. Always inclusive, always giving a hand up to someone, and always sensitive to the plight of the down-and-out amongst us—he is one of the most deserving of a word of affirmation and thanks.
He is a comfort to those around him, is always looking to help someone—his bride, daughters, parents, friends, and acquaintances to become all they can be, and all they were created to be.
And yesterday was his birthday.
And despite the busyness of planning and preparing for so many things it was nice to stop long enough to appreciate him and his special day. And that was important—as it always is—because this day and this moment are never to be relived again, they will soon be a part of the past. And no matter what the day was like for him, he would still be looking for the next thing he could do to lift someone’s life.
I also realized in the midst of the busyness of the moments of the last few days the important things—like his life and the legacy he is leaving day-by-day. The important things like a relationship with the One who gives us life. The opportunity we have to draw closer to each other, and those we love, and most importantly to the One who loves us most and lifts us like no one else can.
Here are the rest of the words to the song “Draw Me Close” by the Katinas. Words about the God who seeks to draw close to you and to me, every day. Take comfort from that—
“Draw me close to you, never let me go,
I lay it all down again,
To hear you say that I’m your friend,
You are my desire, no one else will do
‘Cause nothing else could take your place,
To feel the warmth of your embrace,
Help me find the way, bring me back to you,
You’re all I want; you’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want; help me know that you are near.”
And He does draw close to us—every day. And He gives us gifts only He can give—our lives, our families, friends, and opportunities to make a difference in the world.
And for us, He gave us the gift of our son, born forty-five years ago yesterday.
Thanks to you, our son, for always being who you are—and who God made you to be. Thanks for being a rudder in the lives of those you love—and who love you. Thanks for forgiving some of us when we don’t always show you how much we love you, or when we let you down, and are less than we should be. And thanks for being the example of how we should live in this world for others.
And thank you, Lord, for creating him special, precious and unique, and introducing us to him months later at 10:54 a.m. on that great Sunday of February 9, 1969, and then sending him into the world to be a light to others—Your light.
Happy Birthday dearest son.
We can’t imagine our lives without you!
In His Name—Scott (Dad)
By the way—the newest book written by Tony and Lauren Dungy and our Son, Nathan, has just become available.
The title is “Uncommon Marriage: Learning about lasting love and overcoming life’s difficult obstacles together.” It is an incredible book, flying off the bookshelves, and sure to encourage couples of all ages, and those preparing for marriage.
You can find it at your local bookstore, or autographed copies will soon be available on our website— www.impactforliving.org