by Jeff Strite

God's Pattern For Fatherhood
Jeff Strite
I Thessalonians 2:10-12

ILLUSTRATION: (From "It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It" by Robert Fulghum) It was Molly's, age 7, job to pack the lunches for her family. She would put in the sandwiches, cookies, fruit and so on in a paper bag. One day, in addition to the paper bag she usually packed for her father, she gave him a second bag - enclosed by duct tape, staples, and paper clips. The dad, in a hurry to get to work didn't have time to ask what was inside, quickly thanked her, gave her a kiss and took both bags with him to work. At lunch time, as he was eating his lunch, he remembered his daughter's gift and brought it out. Since it proved too difficult to open any other way, he tore it open on the side, and out spilled these objects:
2 hair ribbons
3 small stones
1 plastic dinosaur
A pencil stub
A tiny seashell
2 animal crackers
A marble
A used lipstick
A small doll
2 chocolate kisses
and 13 pennies

Unsure of what she meant by this gift, he smiled to himself and thought "how quaint." Then realizing the lateness of the hour, he hurriedly swept his desk clean, including the "gifts," and put them in the wastebasket. He did this, he noted later, "because there was nothing in there that I needed." That night, as he sat in his easy chair, his daughter approached him and asked, "where is my bag?" "Your bag?" he asked uneasily. Yes my bag of treasures I gave you this morning. I thought you might like to play with them." "Oh, that bag. Well, it's still at the office." "I want it back," she said. "Those things are very important to me." "Of course, honey. I'll get it for your tomorrow." "Oh, and daddy, there's something I forgot to put in your bag," and she handed him a note. Unfolding the paper he read "Daddy, I love you."

Slipping out to his car, he drove hurriedly to his office and frantically checked his wastebasket and found to his relief that it had not been emptied yet. Quickly, he dumped its contents ...

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