My Dad died this morning.
Throughout the "necessaries" of the day I felt compelled to return to my walk. We lived in a fairly small house and without cell phones, computers, or cable television, my walk was the best way to escape the chaos of the house... and especially to get away from him.
First stop on the walk was the First Baptist Church of Palm City (now called "The Cross Church"). It was in the chilly, heavily-chlorinated water of the outdoor baptistery that I was immersed to mark the beginning of my journey as a follower of Christ. He didn't come.
From there I would journey down the street to the outdoor chapel of the First Congregational Church of Palm City (now called "Coastal Life Church-" what is it with church names these days?). Seated on the concrete pews I could cry and pray and sing as I looked over the meandering waters of the south fork of the St. Lucie River. He wouldn't understand.
Today I followed the route and stopped again under the street light at the corner of 7th Street and McCord Avenue where on a summer evening in 1977 I said a simple "yes" to what I sensed to be a call to ministry. I didn't tell him.
My Dad got a lot smarter while I was away at college. As I became a husband and father I learned that maybe he wasn't as bad at either as I once thought. I recognize his work ethic in the ways I conduct my ministry.
My Dad died this morning. As I re-traced the path of my walk I found myself wanting to be near him.