Father's Day Devotional

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Hello Friends:

Well… I wrote about Mothers last month, so I better write about Fathers this month! I am blessed beyond measure to have wonderful and faithful parents who have shown me in word, and action, and priority, the Love of God! I hope Bethany and I can be ˝ the parents they were and are!

My Father has taught us more by example than anything else. He has shown us that God, making all of us In His Image, gave us the ability to be resilient. Dad has exercised that God-given Resilience (a limited form of transcendence that allows us to rise above our environment/ culture/background) throughout his life. Dad was born with Cerebral Palsy in 1944, this effected him in such a way that his left arm and right leg have some paralysis. When dad was 5 years old my grandparents took him to Shriners Hospital in St. Louis, where surgery and physical therapy were provided so that dad could learn how to walk. Even though he had to stay there for many months and did not receive visits from his family because of hospital policies/instructions (this was very hard on my father… he still talks about it today), dad thrived and went home much stronger than when he left.

Dad found that some within his community made assumptions about him based on his physical appearance. Even a grade school teacher from Oreana, IL insisted that dad was incapable of learning and she didn’t want him in her class. Thankfully my grandparents met with that teacher and informed her that he could take instruction just as well as any other child and dad showed that teacher that he could learn! That God-given resilience kept on revealing itself!

When dad graduated high school he had some choices to make. He loved living and helping on the farm but wasn’t sure that he could farm as a career due to his physical limitations. He decided to leave the farm and move to Chicago and attend art school (The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts at the time located in the Oriental Theater Building on Randolph Street). His parents were pretty worried about him and didn’t understand why he had to leave the farm. They wrote him every day and hoped that he would come back home to stay. They could not understand how anyone could make a living other than in farming! Dad continued to be resilient and creative. He worked hard and continued to surprise his family even in the midst of their well meaning skepticism.

Dad graduated from art school, moved back to the Decatur area and started Edgecombe Studios. Over the years he has created some amazing photographs, recognizing beauty in the world around us. He has been a faithful husband, father, provider, and follower of Christ. He is a great example of the resilience of God’s children due to God’s grace and mercy.

Who are the godly men in your lives that you need to honor this Father’s Day? Tell them what they mean to you. If they are “gone from your sight,” tell another friend or family member about them and how much you love them. In all cases spend some time in prayer thanking God for that person.

Ryan Jay Edgecombe
Broadwell Christian Church & The Christian Village

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