Dear ol’ Dad…

Well, as you might be aware, tomorrow is Father’s Day…

I want to say a heartfelt “Thank You” to some men who do the job better than anyone I know…

Dr. Jeff Cook, mentor and hero…a man whose every word I hang on, a man who loves his wife and loves his kids in a way that reflects Christ and honors Him.  Dr. Cook adores his granddaughter, daughters, and loves his eldest in a way that made the story of the prodigal son jump off the pages of Scripture and become heartbreakingly real.  A man who has prayed with me and for me, someone who has shown genuine concern for my faith and well-being, and made me feel like a part of his beloved brood.

Pastor Chip Thompson…man oh man has this tender-hearted surfer dad of my best friend Katie blown me away with the way he loves his family.  Here is a man who flew all the way from Boston to Cedarville, OH in order to help his daughter study for her toughest exam, a man who dined with her friends and asked them some tough questions, a man who prays with power and loves everyone in his life in an obvious way.  A man who walked the darkest valley with his baby girl, all while holding her hand.

Dr. Tim Gombis…wow.  A man who is crazy-in-love with his spunky beautiful wife and his crazy kids.  The way Tim has chosen to interact with his daughter and sons has convicted me and given me a dozen directions on how I’ll want to raise my own family.  He loves in a way that is humble, in a way that is willing to get eye-to-eye to ask forgiveness, in a way that claims responsibility for the reality he is shaping for them.  He intentionally chooses to wash them in words of truth and life and love on an every day basis.

And now, for the star of the show…

Dr. Robert W. Martin III
My dad.

My heart sincerely swells when I think about him, pray for him, or talk about him.
I don’t know that there is anyone I’ve ever been prouder of.

From small-town boy who was told he’d never amount to anything, to one of the best physicians in the country.  A man who has completed three residencies, a fellowship at Johns Hopkins, and has more degrees and accolades on the wall than I have fingers & toes…

Yet ask him what accomplishment he’s proudest of, and you know what he’ll say?
His family.

Most days I can’t begin to imagine living up to the standard of determination and dedication he’s set.  Chair of his department, running his own dermatopathology lab, seeing thousands upon thousands of patients who absolutely adore him, finding the time to complete a Masters of Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary, coaching his amazing sons and their soccer teams, teaching Apologetics and World Religion classes at his church, writing for countless medical journals and textbooks, teaching at Purdue and Indiana University, reading everything he can get his hands on, wringing his heart and hands in hours of prayer, making family meal-time a top priority, and watching a classic black and white movie every night with his family… my head spins just thinking of his schedule.

People always make more sense when you meet where they came from, and that’s never truer than here…with me.

Beyond our matching faces (though mine is stubble-free) there is so very much of my patchwork, so very much of the good, that can only be attributed to my dad…and not just his DNA…but his intentional conversation, advice, admonition, encouragement and example.

When I swallow chapters whole, enjoying every delicious word of a novel…that’s my dad in me.
When I comment aloud on the moments as they happen and pause to enjoy them with a tear in my eye…that’s my dad in me.
When I revel in the success of my brothers and love them with recognizing that family is sometimes all you can be sure of…that’s my dad in me.
When I speak with intent, washing brokenness with words, wanting to be heard…that’s my dad in me.
When I smile at a waitress and ask her name, so she feels like a friend by the end of a meal…that’s my dad in me.
When I catch myself saying “ma’am” and “sir” a dozen times a day, holding the door, and saying “Thank You”…that’s my dad in me.
When I laugh from my toes watching old stand-up comedy…that’s my dad in me.
When I seek God’s heart with a fury that burns, when I take up my sword to battle for what feels like the thousandth time, when I believe in what’s unseen…that’s my dad in me.
When I enjoy to the fullest a fancy meal, detecting every spice used in the dish, and lift my wine glass to toast the company I’m blessed to be with…that’s my dad in me.
When I finally just decide to do something, when all excuses cease, when I want to make a difference…only Jesus and my dad can take the credit.

At 25 I’ve found a firmer foothold in my independence this year, had my insides cracked open with grief, disappointments, and fear, finally found that God is a God worth trusting, and through all the darkness and all the light, the call I’ll tend to make first…the solace I’ll seek the fastest…the one I’ll want to affirm my personhood and pursuits is none other than guess who?

My Dad.

I’m so proud that he’s a doctor, a teacher, a writer and a warrior… but mostly I’m just proud he’s mine.

dadI love you Daddy-o.
Happy Father’s Day.

One Response

  1. Kate,

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog, and wow. I have to say I was truly touched as I read about your love for your dad. Thank you for sharing it. I love you.


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