To My Dad

The old man’s face was gaunt and thin
His hair now solid grey.
His hands where muscle once had been
Showed only bone today.
He tightly clutched his old cigar
Then touched the unlit end with fire.

Those same old hands that tremble now,
Were once so young and strong.
I’ve watched them as they held the plow
Through furrows straight and long.
And looking back now I can see
Those old hands did a lot for me.

But now he mostly sits all day,
And stares through glasses thick:
Through eyes that now are milky grey
That once were bright and quick.
But, listen friend, when Dad could see,
He always did look out for me.

And that old man now bent and low
Was one time straight and tall:
But years of labour, don’t you know
Will cause the strong to fall.
I’m thankful that God gives me grace
That I might somehow take Dad’s place.

That I might use these feet of mine
To walk that extra mile:
And somehow cause his eyes to shine,
And make my Daddy smile.
God knows Dad cried a million tears
In raising me through all those years.

I think that Christ will smile on me
If I should do my best:
And do my duties faithfully
And let my father rest.
How good it is that he can know
He’s welcome anyplace I go.

And if the time should come that I
Have somehow feeble grown:
And wait upon my turn to die
And find myself alone.
I pray to God that I will see
My son, with outstretched arms for me…
William Raymond Waterman

9 thoughts on “To My Dad

  1. Bill, I appreciate your reflective poetry. They are real and they speak volumes. This one reminds me of godly dads who sacrificed for their children and were faithful supporters of their families.
    As your poem indicates, human dads grow feelber and fragile as they age, but we have one HEAVENLY FATHER Who never grows old and will always be with us to the very eternity of etermities. He is our Father and not only do I remember earthly daddys, pops, papas, dads, but especially Him Who has made it possible for me to be eternally His child, Abba Father.

  2. The part of your poem, Bill, that stood out to me was,
    “I think that Christ will smile on me
    If I should do my best:
    And do my duties faithfully
    And let my father rest.”

    Your attitude reflected that your mind and heart were towards serving the Lord in your actions. This is a very honorable example for other sons to think about and follow this Father’s Day. It reminded me of Colossians 3:23, 24:
    “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

  3. What a thoughtful poem to remember Dad. My own Dad found Jesus late in life and upon his death under every chair there was a book about Jesus or Bible open to a reading of Jesus. His appetite was insatiable for the things of God. When he died the morning before he dreamt he was in the most beautiful rose garden he had ever been in. God took him home a few hours early. I suspect he is in that garden still.

  4. Bill,
    What a great poem that reflects the love of your father. Thanks for sharing with us.

    I’d like to wish all the Fathers around the world a very Happy Father’s Day!

  5. Speaking of fathers and Fathers’ Day, in a wonderful devotional by Bill Johnson given to me by my dear friend Polly, I discovered another way of looking at worhsip and love of God, our Father. I paraphrase.
    When Pastor Johnson was in Brazil on a mission, he got the news that his Pastor-father had advanced pancreatic cancer. He rushed back to the States to be with his dad, who had been his great encourager, a man of integrity to his family to his flock. He writes, “I felt moved to ask God to repeat Hezekiahs’s miracle for my dad.” (Hezekiah had pleaded with the Lord to allow him to live and God granted him 15 more years.) Bill goes on to write that cancer had been a prayer target for their church because it portends to be a “Goliath that threatens and taunts the armies of the living God.” Bill goes on to say that God had given their ministry a sort of ‘cancer break-through’ and ultimately released to them a cancer-free zone, so to speak. Not all were healed but very many through the auspices of their church healing ministry.
    But although the Lord had healed many, his father did die after a 6 months battle and that’s when the real battle set in. Bill knew that disappointment and grief could allow a ‘spiritual disease’ to set in if he allowed it to dominate his heart and blind his eyes as to what the Lord God was trying to work within him. He says, he strengthened himself in the Lord and monitored the attitude in his heart that might have been angry with God or blamed God for his father’s death and not answering the prayer for healing the way Bill wanted Him to. But this is, TO ME, the revelatory discovery I made…how Bill turned it around in his heart.
    “God’s goodness and faithfulness became the focus of Bill’s praise. AFTER his dad’s death he discovered the privilege of giving God a SACRIFICIAL offering of praise that he would never be able to give HIM in eternity. Bill’s offering of “praise was given in the midst of sadness, diappointment and confusion….none of which he will ever experience in Heaven. Only in this life will we be able to give the offering with that kind of Fragrance”
    That cast a new light, for me, on the sacrifice of praise…a praise that can only be given here on earth to the living God…a prelude to our entry into Father God’s very presence…for in Heaven it will not be a SACRIFICE….only here, on earth, can we offer the sacrifice of praise to God.

  6. As I reread the poem today I thought how Bill has taken us full circle in the life of Father/son. I had to smile when Bill commented on how many tears he has caused his father, yes, so many that he thought to give his Daddy a rest. So special to feel the emotion between father and son.

    Good story MG for Father’s day on Bill Johnson and his Father. His father was healed in a way great than Bill could have imagined.

  7. Yes, Bill’s dad WAS healed and I believe he came to realize that…and not only that but…he came to a new revelation, for him, in offering up the true sacrifice of praise.

  8. Bill this was such a wonderful tribute to your Father. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. May God
    Bless you and your Father.

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