Walter Ray Clark ● January 2, 1922 - July 29, 1992
There are two verses that have come to mind as I've thought about my Dad. The first is Ephesians 2:10: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
The word workmanship implies such things as quality, excellence, craftsmanship -- work that's done with love and care, and that endures. These are qualities that God has lavished on us all. And, since we are called to imitate our heavenly Father, these are qualities we need to exhibit in our own lives, in all we do.
There are few men I've known who exhibited these qualities as well as my Dad did. Not only was he an excellent example of God's workmanship, but my Dad's workmanship will stand forever as a memorial to his devotion to his family, his friends, his God.
The second verse is John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." There are many ways to lay down one's life for others. By this I mean putting aside your own concerns to focus on the needs of others. Every day of his life my Dad would do just that. He was always willing to help anyone in any kind of need any way he could.
My father was a man of immense character. And, he was also a bit of a character. The impact he has had on others--many others--is evidenced by your presence here today. We have all, in different ways, been touched profoundly by the workmanship he exhibited in all he did, and by his willingness to lay aside his life to focus on our need. He was never stingy about sharing joy and love with all he met.
As I've said several times in the past few days, while I'm saddened by my father's death, I rejoice even more. I rejoice because my Dad really isn't dead. He's home with the Lord. Of that I'm absolutely certain. And I rejoice, too, because he lives on in all of us. He's in our hearts and memories.
I rejoice most, though, because he's my Dad. I loved him very much, and I know he loved me. I've always been proud of him, and I know he was proud of me. He taught me by what he said and how he lived what being a Christian man means. Because Walter Clark is my Dad, I will be forever grateful.
(Originally written July, 1992,
I miss my Dad. But I am glad for the wonderful memories. What about you? Please share about your dad in the comments!