“He did not tell me how to live: he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
~Clarence Budington Kelland
Father’s Day. Many things have run through my mind and heart today. One of those little “things” running through me is the thought of my dad Ray. When I think about my dad, I think about the things that mattered to him. Character mattered to my dad, you know, live what you believe. Always tell the truth no matter what. I don’t remember very many lectures. I can’t remember my dad ever really yelling at me. I do remember that I watched him help other people. I remember how he helped neighbors, how he treated others, how he interacted with his peers. He loved to coach, he loved to watch me in every endeavor. When I moved away he would even go to my friends baseball games. He cared about my friends and he kept great friends.
As I think about my father Ray today– He had a calming kind of spirit– He was always calming me down, at least trying to calm me down. My father enjoyed reading and so do I. My father enjoyed funny t.v. shows like Seinfeld and so do I. There were many many nights that he and I watched Johnny Carson together, that was always fun. My dad taught me how to fish and we went on many fishing excursions together. He showed me– He showed me many things.
“He did not tell me how to live: he lived, and let me watch him do it.” ~Clarence Budington Kelland
The man that taught me so much about the Grace of God. He really did. His name is Raymond Alexander Solin (Solinski) I love this man for showing me, not really telling me about it, but showing me the Grace of God.
One of the reasons I love, enjoy the fact that I’m adopted is that I ended up with Ray. How I got there? How it would be with him? How? Only by God. Only by the movement of God and for that I learned a little about Grace. Never did I hear from my dad that I had to earn his love. Never. Never did he yell at me for not being his dream, or his period. I always felt to my dad, I was really a gift. That showed me a little of God’s grace.
Interesting that I never felt I measured up. Truth be told, he didn’t do that to me. I felt that way because I know full well that I was failing as a person, as his son. So, in the midst of a very dark time in my life I felt, I felt it was time to leave. I didn’t deserve his grace, I didn’t deserve his love, I didn’t deserve his gifts, his care, his being my father.
So, one night I decided to pack up my stuff and go somewhere. I had no idea where, but I was going. As I loaded up my car, Ray waited for me at the front door. “Where are you going?” He asked. I went off on him and it turned into me and him actually swinging away, I connected, he connected, and we fought on the front porch. Finally he connected with me and brought me to my knees and woke me up. I said, “Dad, I’m sorry, I’m leaving because I don’t deserve to live here. I have let you down, I have hurt you, I need to go.” He said words I will never ever forget. He said words that I heard a times before from the scriptures, from people trying to tell me about God’s grace, God’s love… He said,
“Don’t you know that there is nothing you could do that would make me stop loving you? Nothing”
It was that night, that moment that it all clicked. His love for me was an image of God’s love for me. Ray told me a truth that I only understood with my head and that night, I got it with my heart. That God loved me even though I was the ultimate sinner. My dad loved me as much as a human being could love me like the Heavenly Father loved him, now Ray loved me the same. I finally got it. My adoption to my dad was a shadow of God’s adoption of me through Christ Jesus.
You see, it’s not about measuring up. It’s not about perfection. It’s not about doing to be loved. It’s about God’s unconditional, unrelenting Grace and I learned that directly from my dad Ray.
Thank you Ray. I love you, I miss you, you showed me God’s Grace!
I hope dad, that I am to my sons as you are to me!
I so look forward to seeing you again.