Since my dad’s passing I haven’t stayed connected to very many of his friends. Although this might seem like a strange comment, it is very normal considering how and where I grew up. We lived in a very small, rural community so those friendships often times crossed over generational lines. Along with the fact that several families all shared the same hobby of rodeo, which made those connections even stronger.
Often times we would all travel together. When Dad was busy roping, I would often times turn to one of his friends if I needed help getting ready for my event. So, I guess you could say, I traveled most weekends with several sets of parents.
The rodeo community has always been a very tight knit group. Although you might not hear from them in years, when things got tough or life happened and one of them moved on…they show up in droves! It probably isn’t that different than most families except they are rarely blood kin.
One night as I sat on the couch watching tv my phone rang. As I looked at the number it registered from my hometown. I played with the thought of not answering, but curiosity kicked in and so I did. The “hello” on the other end of the line shot me back in time. The atmosphere of a relaxing evening was bolted with excitement and energy at the sound of that voice. All he had to say was, “Hey girl!” and I knew immediately it was my dad’s best friend. My heart leap with excitement and I was a teenager again.
He had been watching a documentary on the Stamford Stampede Rodeo (Texas Cowboy Reunion Rodeo) and thought of me. This was a yearly event in our lives, typically around the 4th of July. He reminded me of the many times his daughters and I would get so excited about how many times we got to ride through the grand entry. We reminisced about staying in some utterly disgusting cinder block cabins by the lake, that Mom and his wife had to clean before we were allowed in.
As we lingered on those conversations I began to smell the meat grilling outside and my dad standing on the bank fishing. Only the second time in my life I recall that ever happening! Card games late into the evening and singing in the half shell camper attached on the bed of our red Chevy truck.
When the conversation started to wind down he said, “I just needed to call you and remind you how much you are loved. I think of you often and if you ever need anything, girl, you know where I am.” We ended with “I love you”, gentle tears flowing and the promise of keeping in touch.
It was such a sweet way to finish off a semi-hectic day. My heart felt a little lighter and my spirit was soaring with joy at the memories of a lifetime experienced so long ago.
As I laid my head down on my pillow I thanked Father for such a sweet remembrance and as I drifted into sleep He whispered, “My thoughts are always towards you, speaking into your life during times when you don’t always know what you need to hear.”
That’s the God we serve! A Father who sees the longing in a daughter’s heart.
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
One who sees the heart crying out for a word reminding her she is not alone and not forgotten.
I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
The Lord himself goes before you
and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.
A Father who uses the influence of a tv program to set in motion a conversation this daughter’s heart had been longing for, but didn’t even know it herself.
Many, O Lord my God,
are Your wonderful works which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
they are more than can be numbered.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
and He shall give you the desires
and secret petitions of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 (AMP)
Tomorrow, remember that as Christ looked into that cup You were on His mind. Hear His words whisper through your day about how much you are loved.