He Carries: A Tribute to All Fathers

Rev. Starlette McNeill*

This tribute was prepared for the fathers of Village Baptist Church and presented on Sunday, June 15, 2014.

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Without making a sound, he carries the weight of our worlds on his shoulders.  He carries the demands of our dreams and the sacrifices of our visions. He carries our expectations of a better life, our hope for a brighter future.  

He is Mister Right and Mister Fix- it.  Our Prince Charming, he is the priest, the plumber, the painter and pest control.  He wears all of these hats and still can find room on his head to support his favorite sports team.

He carries our fears and doubts, taking them into himself so that we can worry less and laugh more.  He carries our brokenness, giving us pieces of himself so that we might be whole and behold the beauty that he has always seen.  He holds it all together by holding it in, keeping it to himself and away from us. 

He carries our troubles, our traumas—willing to self- destruct before he allows it to touch us.  We will never know how bad it was or could have been because of all that he has carried for us—without making a sound.

He carries her over the threshold and her purse while she is shopping.  A human stroller, he carries excited children on his neck, tired children in his arms, tantrum- throwing children over his shoulder.  He is our unsung hero, who carries groceries and toiletries, screwdrivers and wrenches, jumper cables and a Swiss army knife, the car keys and an extra ten dollars. 

He carries furniture and appliances, boxes, bicycles and the luggage.  He is the gardener, the moving man, the deliveryman, the house bellman and the cabbie.  He doesn’t ask for a tip just “a man cave” for hibernation purposes, to rest from carrying.  He carries the heavy stuff of life.  He does the heavy lifting with no tears only sweat because he is the man.  He carries history and the family name, garbage bags and baseball bats for those who are not good enough for his daughter. 

He is chivalrous, opening the doors of our possibility and jars tightly sealed.  He is the knight of our kitchen table, our knight in dusty armor, our protector who carries weapons.  His biceps, he calls them “the guns.”

He is Clark Kent and Superman, without theme music or fanfare, carrying cape and briefcase.  He can leap over yard fences and is faster than a speeding toddler.  His x- ray vision allows him to see through our superficial teenage tears and still, tell us “No.”  He saves our world from shady salesmen, spiders and seedy characters.  He is our fortress and guard, our shield and sword, the coach who always takes one for team. 

But, he doesn’t say much and we don’t say enough, “Thank you, dad.  Happy Father’s Day.”

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