A man stands in chest deep water, with two of his sons close by. “Good pop-up that time, Ian!” he shouts to one of the boys in shallower water. “Looking good!” he says to the other one catching the next wave as it breaks. The third son, the eldest, about twelve I’d guess, is further away from them sitting on his surfboard. “Aaron, won’t you come over here and be near us?” he motions with his hand. He wants to be around all of his children. I call this man “Surf Dad” to myself because I don’t know his name but he’s a regular at this spot — a local surfer teaching his three boys to surf.
And what a fine example of a father I see in this man. I’m sure he’s not perfect, none of us are, yet, the manner in which he handles his boys outshines many other dads. He speaks to them with kindness and seems to be patient with them as they learn. There have been times when I have accidentally gotten in his way surfing but he always smiles and says, “No worries,” and paddles back out for another wave. I hear him constantly encouraging his boys, supporting all their efforts and pressing them on.
Observing Surf Dad made me think about Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. Jesus was taught the carpentry trade from him. I know the Bible doesn’t tell us how Jesus grew up, but from the little knowledge we have of how Joseph responded to Mary and his dreams from God, I have a feeling Joseph was probably a lot like Surf Dad. I bet he was patient when Jesus was little, sweeping the shop, sanding boards, watching His father work. I imagine encouraging words and “teaching moments” coming from Joseph as he trained Jesus in all the tricks of the trade. And I have a feeling they liked hanging out together.
Isn’t this the kind of dad we all want? Well guess what? We have one.
Some of us were blessed with one in the natural (I’m one of those people), but Father God wants to be this kind of a dad to each of us now! Jesus came to show us what the Father is like. John 14:9, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.” He was meek and lowly of heart, compassionate and caring, gracious and merciful, and also liked to play with children! These aren’t just the character traits of Jesus, they’re of our Heavenly Father too!
It’s very possible that Surf Dad is a Christian, since his traits resemble Father God’s so much (plus I’ve seen a fish sticker on his truck), or he may just be a good dad. I don’t know for sure, but either way I feel he paints an excellent picture of how the Father wants to relate to us.
Both Surf Dad and Joseph show us that God always sees us as His sons and daughters with whom He wants to spend time with, encourage, comfort, and express love to. It’s up to us to believe He is, and receive Him as this type of Dad.
(Photos taken from 911surfreport.com Thanks Eddie.)