My Father’s Lap



In the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. – Psalm 57:1 (RSV)

When I was growing up, there was only one place where I could escape my mother’s wrath—my father’s lap. I was an impulsive child, and my mother wasn’t blessed with patience, so when our wills clashed, sparks flew.

Mom was the firestorm; Dad the quiet stream. I loved them both, but it was to Dad I turned when I needed a listening ear or when I just needed cuddled. Curled up in his lap, resting my head on his shoulder, feeling his arms around me, was the safest place in the world.

Fast forward forty years. I am now a mother, still a bit impulsive, fiery when I get going. My husband is like my father—a soothing balm to my blistering heat. One of my children has impulsively done something that could cast a dark shadow over the future. I am so furious, I shake. I feel heat radiating from my face.

“How could you do this?” I shout. “When we get home, you will tell your father what you’ve done.”

But the scene doesn’t turn out as I expect. There, curled up in my husband’s lap, is our errant, remorseful child.

Fast forward eight more years. I am now a grandmother. As my family has multiplied, so have my love and concern. I pray for my children and grandchildren every day, but still I worry. I am at the age where I realize how fragile life really is and how dangerous a place the world is. I have much more to lose now.

As I sit in the family room, my head rests on the wing of the love seat where I’m curled up. Eyes closed, I imagine myself sitting in my heavenly Father’s lap, resting my head on His shoulder, feeling His arms around me.

I speak no words, but peace, like a placid stream, gently seeps into my soul. I am in the safest place in the world.

Abba, Father, thank You for Your unconditional love. Amen.

Read and reflect on Psalm 57

From God, Me & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God, Copyright © 2018 by Michele Huey


Missing Daddy

Photo courtesy of Pixaby

Blessed is the man . . . – Psalm 1:1

I wrote the poem sitting at a carrel in the college library, gazing out the window at the blue sky and worrying about my dad. It was the summer before he died. I attended summer sessions that year, with the plan to graduate in three years.

With every visit home, I noticed Dad getting thinner and thinner, his skin turning a grayish hue. He’d lie on his back on the hardwood floor, explaining the pain as recurrent from injuries sustained in the Battle of Attu during World War 2 – nearly 30 years earlier.

I had my doubts, but he assured me he’d consulted with both his personal physician and a chiropractor. Something deep inside me knew something was seriously wrong, and so, from the depths of my heart, I composed the following poem, which I slipped into his casket four months later.

I share it with you now, with the hope that its words will stir up warm memories of your own fathers. And, fathers, that you would see into the hearts of your children. Time goes by so quickly. Cherish every moment.


Dad, my Dad, where have you gone?

I once walked by your side.

My two small steps could never match

Your slow but gentle stride.

My small hand in yours would rest,

You were a giant then.

But yet so gentle, yet so kind –

My hero among men.

Dad, my Dad, where have you gone?

Your lap was once my throne.

Your hair, a crown of grizzled black,

To gray when I had grown.

Dad, you shouldn’t work so hard –

You’re getting much too thin.

Go out and shoot a round of golf –

Take me, for sure you’ll win.

Father dear, I’m far away,

I need a loving hand

To slip me change when I go broke

And gently reprimand.

Dad, my Dad, where have you gone?

My son walks by my side.

His two small steps will never match

Your slow, but gentle stride.

Thank you, Lord, that even though I still miss my daddy after 47 years, I know I will see him in heaven. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 1.

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.