Like Father, Like Son: Idiosyncrasies, Oddities, and Quirks

Dad and me

Little Ray & Big D

I never realized how much I appreciated and/or loved my dad until he passed away (its tragic how we never really pay attention to people until they’re dead).  Since then, rarely has a day gone by that I don’t think of him or check my phone to see if he’s called to tell me something he had already told me (my dad loved to talk, but he was a forgetful man).  Oddly, the things I appreciate most about my dad now were the things that annoyed me the most while he was alive – you know, the little idiosyncrasies of his life: calling me multiple times a day and leaving me long voicemails (so long that the message would cut him off, but that didn’t stop him! No sir, he would just call back and finish his message), telling me lame knock-knock type jokes over and over and over again, his wheezy laugh, and the way he identified himself as “the mailman” even when he wasn’t at work or in uniform (my dad was a mailman by profession).  I miss these things, but as a child I vowed to never be like my dad (I think every kid makes that vow at least once, especially when they’re embarrassed by their parent(s)).

Oddly, I now see little bits of my dad manifesting themselves in a host of areas in my life.  His “quirks” have become my daily habits.  This was further confirmed, when recently I picked my mom up at the border of Alabama and Tennessee.  On the way to Louisville she repeatedly exclaimed “You are your father’s son!”  So, I asked “Why do you keep saying that?”  Her reply, “You fidget, you don’t turn on the windshield wipers even though it is raining (and you claim that you can see), and you turned the cruise-control on immediately when we started moving down the road.  I laugh at the things I see in you that I use to get mad at your father for; I wish that I could tell him now – ‘I’m sorry. And your son is as stupid as you are!’”  She said that last line in jest.

These manifestations of my dad’s oddities demarcate me as one of his children, as his son.  The Scripture similarly speaks to this, that is to the imitating our Heavenly Father – the idiosyncrasies and oddities that prove we are children of God and not children of the Devil.

Love for the brethren proves that we are our Father’s sons (1John 4:20); love for other disciples manifest for the entire world to see that we are Christ’s disciples (John 13:35).  The reason: we love as family others who we have absolutely nothing in common with except a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dad & me

Dad & me

Using our speech in a God-glorifying way to tell the truth proves that we come from the Father of Truth who cannot lie (Heb 6:18) and not the father of lies (John 8:44).  For, speech is intrinsically a divine act – God spoke the world into existence and uses words to communicate to the world that Jesus Christ came to save sinners (Matt 1:21).  So, to use words to deceive is anti-christian and satanic.

Defending the defenseless—the unborn, the poor, widows, and any who are destitute & afflicted—is kingly (Prov 31:8-9) and is pure religion, that is it is explicitly Christian (James 1:27; 1Tim 5:3-16).  Indeed, if it were not for men like Joseph who protected a woman (Mary) and a child (Jesus) we would all be in hell right now (Matt 1:18-2:23).

My dad’s quirks are the very things that I miss the most about him, because I now realize that they made my dad who he was and because I now realize that I am so very much like my dad.  However, the Scripture says that as I grow in Christ I should also begin to manifest holy idiosyncrasies, oddities, and quirks that prove I am my Father’s son as well.  They are greater than the familial quirks we love so much, for they manifest publically for the world that our Kingdom is not of this world; it is a Kingdom whose architect and builder is God (Heb 11:10), it is a Kingdom which cannot be shaken (Heb 12:28).

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