JUNE 16, 2019 – It was a silent, trembling cry.

A cry that stole my Dad’s voice and caused his eyes to gush for a few awkward minutes at the dinner table.

No one knew what to say.

Finally, Daddy regained his composure and said, “This is the best gift I’ve ever, ever received.”

I quickly claimed it as a win over my siblings (even though he’d probably told them the same thing before).

Here’s what I gave him: my words.

My brand-new poem, So, God Made a Father, touched his heart.

Over the past 5 years, this poem has been shared thousands of times, to thousands of fathers, across the globe.

Each year I wonder if its popularity will diminish, but so far, it’s only gained momentum. It’s been republished (with my permission) in a number of magazines and used for many, many Father’s Day church services and family gatherings. (even in places such as the U.K., Australia & Canada.)

Here’s the story behind the poem:

I’ve always loved Paul Harvey’s iconic broadcast, So God Made a Farmer. One day, I read a post where someone had rewritten a few lines of the broadcast for parents. The post was short and poorly worded, but it gave me an idea.

Soon my hands were flying across the keyboard, as sweet memories of my Dad and my husband came rushing to mind. In fact, Daddy never realized this, but the poem wasn’t solely inspired by him. A lot of it was inspired by my husband Mike, who is also a wonderful father.

Even so, Daddy claimed it as his own. And in a strange way, it was.

When Daddy died in 2022 in a fatal accident, I was paralyzed with trauma and overwhelmed with grief. For the next few days, I was an emotional wreck.

As we visited the funeral home and received friends, I wondered: will my tears ever stop?

When we planned the funeral, the preacher suggested something shocking. He said that I should speak at Daddy’s funeral—something I would’ve never dreamed of doing.

Something I didn’t want to do.

Even though I am a professional speaker, I didn’t think I could do it. What would I say? Would I just stand up there and bawl?

I told the preacher I’d pray about it, but my heart said, “absolutely not.”

Then something strange happened.

I discovered that Daddy had framed my poem and hung it on his special wall of memories. It was strange because I’d never seen it hanging there before. 

Did he hang it there right before his fatal accident? Did he somehow know what was going to happen?

I’ll never know for sure, but when I found it, I knew exactly what to do . . . 

As I approached the podium at Daddy’s funeral, my throat felt like sandpaper. My legs felt like pure jelly and my eyes were moist. But as I faced the packed house, a realization came to me and with it, new-found strength.

I realized that God gave me this poem for more than a Father’s Day gift. He gave it to me for this very moment, so I could use it to honor my father’s life.

And I knew God was still providing for me, all I had to do was keep going. I spoke to the crowd that day and read the poem—without a single tear. 

This was purely God’s miracle, not mine.

That day I learned that God provides all the strength you need (especially when you have none).

All you have to do is keep going, while trusting your heavenly Father’s lead and power, for He is good.

Soon it will be Father’s Day, once again. If your father is still alive, please make the most of the opportunity. If your father is no longer living, be sure to celebrate your Heavenly Father, as well as a father that you love.

Here are some ideas:
• Use the occasion to thank your heavenly Father, for He is good. 
• Find an outstanding father (or several) to thank.
• Do a good deed in honor of your father.
• Spend the day encouraging your family and friends.
• Send cards or emails.

I’d like to help you. Feel free to add a copy of my poem to a Father’s Day card or email this year:

So, God Made a Father

And God looked down on all He had made and said, “I need a caretaker.”

So, God made a father.

“I need someone,” God said, “to take children fishing and play catch in the backyard. It must be someone who is tough enough to run a chainsaw and yet, gentle enough to join his little girl and her dolls for tea.”

“I need someone to bring the car around when it’s raining, so everyone else can stay dry. Someone who will keep jumper cables in his truck, just in case. I need someone to notice practical things, like how the tread on the tires is wearing and if the weather stripping around the front door needs replacing, for no one else will.”

“Yes,” God laughed, “He will struggle to find his socks and keys. But I’ll help him find time for the important things, like tumbling with the kids in the den floor, or saying ‘I’m proud of you, son,’ or giving Mama a hug.”

So, God made a father.

God thought, “I need someone to provide for the family. Someone who will get up early and stay up late and never complain. I need someone who’s willing to make unpopular decisions and stand by them. Someone to provide authority and discipline, as well as love.”

“He must be someone who listens more than he talks. Who will stand by his family through laughter and tears, tornadoes and snowstorms, good times and bad. Someone who will love his kids and love their mother, even more.”

“I need someone who is willing to carve the Thanksgiving turkey, for no one else wants the job.” I need someone who’s not afraid to go into Grandma’s dark cellar, or to check on what goes bump in the night, or to remove the dead mouse from the mousetrap.”

“I’ll give him broad shoulders, broad enough to carry a little child around town and broad enough to pull more than his fair share.”

So, God made a father.

God said, “I need someone strong enough to open a tightly sealed jelly jar and someone tall enough to place the angel on top of the Christmas tree. And yet, I need someone who is gracious enough to let his son fish the best fishing hole, or to let his daughter win at least one hand of gin rummy.”

“Yes, I need someone who is willing to work the second-shift, or take second-best, or play second fiddle, so that his family can have it better than he did. I need someone who’s willing . . . willing to man up and provide the love, support and strength his family will so desperately need.”

So God made a father.

© Copyright 2019 by May Patterson, all rights reserved

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