Today would have been my daddy’s eighty-second birthday. I’m sitting here looking at a photo of him at the age of thirty five. That sweet, mischievous smile will live forever.
Many men have trouble using the word “Daddy.” It has an oddly childlike ring to it. Grown men use the words “Dad,” “Father,” “Pop,” terms like that. But for me to use any of those words would inaccurately reflect who this precious man was to me, every moment of our lives. He was my daddy, and I never called him anything else.
He called me Snag. Yes, Snag. He pinned that one on me when I was about eight years old. There are two versions of where it came from, and they both originate about the same time so I like to think that both are valid. One view is that my front baby teeth had fallen out and for a while I was quite snaggletoothed. The other is that, as he coached my Dixie Youth baseball team he once noted that I snagged everything that came close. I must admit I prefer version two, but either one is fine. Snag is the bestest nickname a firstborn son ever had, and it was music to my ears.
Dr. Ed Young Sr. preaches a sermon on Romans 8:15, in which he comments on the interpretation of the Koine Greek word “Abba.” He points out that, although it is commonly translated as “father,” it is clear from Paul’s context that God is and wants us to know Him as our personal, real, intimate father and that those of us who are so inclined are free to use whatever patriarchal term we wish to use. ”We can call him Daddy,” Dr. Young tells us. I loved it when I heard that. My creator eternal father and my precious earthly father.
My Heavenly Daddy. My earthly Daddy. Just as God intended it. It’s an important point for us to understand, and to teach our kids. It gives us all the divinely-intended frame of reference.
When I see Reverend Hollis again, somewhere over Jordan, he will walk up to me, smile that sweet smile and say, “Hey, Snag, how ya been?” And I will wrap my arms around him and say, “It’s been tough, Daddy, but it’s all right now.”
And I have God’s promise that these tears I’m crying right now will be long gone.