Jim McGuiggan is one of my longtime heroes in ministry. I heard him speak last January. He still has that uncanny ability to speak to the heart as well as the head. Here is a small portion of an article he composed in 1977 that was recently reprinted.
In Ireland where milk is sold in glass bottles, a seven year old was asked by his father to the put the bottles at the end of the path so the milkman could get them the next morning. It was pitch black outside. Scared but faithful, the boy did his job. Racing back, he grabbed the father and panted: “It’s too dark to go out there without a father!”
I could not agree more. The world is too dark to go out there without a father… My father died suddenly when I was 15 years old. I did my best to make my way in the darkness, but I stumbled and faltered as I muddled through the teen years. It was just too dark to be going out there without a father. But that soon changed…
But the truth is, I have never been without a father. All through the years men have stepped up and fulfilled that role. My employer during my years as an undergraduate university student did not allow me to venture very far in the darkness alone. I am so grateful for his strong presence during that time period. And as the years have flown by, there have been others that have walked with me in dark hours.
Sometimes I wonder what my role is as a father to three adult sons. I do NOT want to a helicopter parent that hovers over them or a snow-plow parent that runs ahead trying clear the way for them. I just want to be a father. McGuiggan has helped. My role is to walk with them through all of the ups and downs of life. After all, it’s too dark to go out there without a father.