The Strong Man
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. JOHN 15:13
Dick has run several dozen marathons with his son, Rick, in addition to numerous triathlons. Mind you, this was not side-by-side but with Dick pushing his son in a wheelchair, towing him in a dinghy or propping him on the handlebars.
How in the world? More important, why?
During his birth, Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord, leaving him severely brain damaged. Eventually, however—through modern science and his parents’ love—he was fitted as a young teenager with a device that allowed him to communicate by controlling a computer cursor with the side of his head. One of the first things he typed was a request to do a five-mile charity run with his dad.
At the time, Dick had never run more than a mile at any one time. He was in his 30s and way out of shape. But he did it anyway, pushing Rick’s buggy in front of him as he ran the race. When they got home that night, Rick typed on his computer, “Dad, when we were running, it felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore.”
That did it for Dick. He started training for marathons—with a passion. Many have asked Dick why he doesn’t try doing one of these on his own, see what he could do. “No way,” he says. “I do it simply for the look on Rick’s face.” Recently, Dick suffered a mild heart attack during a race. The doctor said, “If you hadn’t been in such great shape, you probably would have died fifteen years ago.” Being a real dad is redemptive. It has a way of saving two lives at the same time.
Name and celebrate some of the things you and your children have done with each other. Is there some type of heroic achievement you could accomplish together?
Give thanks to God for the gift of your children, and ask Him for the continued desire to make them recipients of the full investment of your love and parental vision.