My father’s name is Charlie.
He died when I was 19.
I named my son after him.
I entered into a “dark night of the soul” (my first) after my fathers death. I felt angry, confused, bitter, afraid, lost, and alone. Everything I had ever believed was suddenly called into question. My world turned upside down, and every I knew became suspect. I underwent not only a “crisis of faith,” but an ontological crisis as well.
6 months after his death, I was at my lowest point. It was a dark and scary place to be. Then, one night my dad appeared to me in a dream.
A few days later, I received a letter. from him.
Our family had moved. I was unpacking a box, when I saw an old Bible of mine, one I hadnt seen since childhood.
It was a gift, given to me by my father.
I picked up the Bible and it fell from my hands. It landed on the floor, flopping open to the back pages… revealing my father’s very own handwriting.
A letter. To me, From dad.
I had never seen this letter before. I didn’t even know it existed. I never used the Bible he had given me.
Apparently, He wrote it to me in secret, when I was a child; and he never mentioned a word to me about it.
He wrote it while were vacationing in Colorado, at a summer family camp. I was climbing a very tall mountain that day, and attempting to peak the summit. I was 14 years old.
The letter’s audience (as these English teacher eyes read it) is no child. This is man stuff, deep stuff; the essence of it.
This letter has unspeakable personal meaning for me.
My father could not have known the circumstances of the letter’s reception when he wrote it. He could not have known the nature of its finding or the circumstances of its reading or the details of its synchronicity or the numinous speaking-from-beyond that it would become, echoing even years after its finding and far into my future. But what I do know is that -at the least– he wrote it from following his own intuition; meaning, even the most basic, simple, and non-grandiose thought of, “oh – I just had an idea – i think I’ll write him a letter while he’s out today…hmmm… how about in his Bible? Yes, that’s a good place for it….. but will he read it if I put it in the back, as opposed to the front?…… Some day, probably…. Who knows? It might be a fun or timely surprise….”
“Believe? I do not need to believe. I know.” ~ Carl Jüng, 1959, when asked in an interview if he believed in God.
“My sheep know my voice.” – Jesus
[Letter from Dad]
As I look out over Horn Peak, I am reminded of Psalm 121. It clearly presents the fact that God’s hand is with you as you climb life’s mountains.
It is 11:30am, June 18, 1998. At this moment, you are climbing Horn Peak, and yes, God’s hand is with you, according to Psalm 121.
Life itself will be like that mountain you climbed today. You will make commitments, prepare, focus, pray, and execute. Along the way, there will be wonderful insights and sounds, joy, excitement, fun, difficulty, rest, reflection, poise, determination, and of course, the will to win.
You have been winning in life, for which I am extremely proud of you. I pray that you may continue winning in life, according to God’s formula. I pray that you may gain your strength and unyielding confidence in God alone, regardless of anything else. God is more concerned with your heart than any accomplishments. God first always…. the rest (fruits, confidence, accomplishments) will follow. Please focus continuing to gain wisdom and learning to fear (honor and respect) the Lord.
In Matthew 3:17, at Jesus’ baptism, God said he loved his son and is well pleased. I too can say to you that I love you and am well pleased. Even words cannot describe adequately the love that my heart gives testimony to God for. God knows my deep abiding love that I have for you and my gratefulness to be your Dad.
May this book be your companion for life. For with it, you will be wise, godly, and a great leader in all areas of your life. God bless you Luke…. I am proud of you.
P.S. Never forget what it is like to reach the top of the mountain – and God will greet you in eternity with “Well done, my son”