When I was 5 I remember waking up early one morning and hearing noises down the hallway.
It was early. It was dark. I remember wanting to sprint into my mommy and daddy’s room to tell them someone was in our house.
I started down the hallway and the closer I got to their room the louder the noises got.
They turned from noises to whispers.
I stopped in front of their door and now knew the whispers were coming from the office next to their room.
I was not a brave child.
I cried watching episodes of Webster and Punky Brewster.
So I do not know what came over me.
But instead of walking into my parents room I turned left.
And I approached the office door.
By this point the whispers had turned into a mix of speaking and weeping.
And I recognized the voice.
It was my dad’s.
But who was he talking to?
Who was he crying to?
I cracked the door open and saw my dad on his knees, elbows on a chair in front of him, in the dark, whispering prayers in Spanish towards the face of God.
I stood there for what had to be 5 minutes.
Just watching my father pray.
I don’t remember everything he was praying about, but I do remember the prayers being as rich as red velvet cake.
Dripping with authenticity and reverence.
And I remember hearing my name. And my brother’s name.
After a few minutes I turned around, walked back down the hallway and got back in bed.
I remember thinking that I wanted to be able to talk to God like that.
Later that morning as he was getting ready for work I remember him kissing me and telling me he loved me.
I replied to him differently that morning.
I normally would have said “I love you too daddy” but instead I answered with, “I know daddy”.
I ran to the bathroom and got on my knees and prayed for him to have good meetings and not get fired and get to write with nice pens.
Immediately after I said amen, I ran back up to him before he walked out the door and said…”I love you too daddy.”
Because in 5 minutes early one weekday morning he showed me what “I Love You” really looks like.
Oh may our children understand our love by seeing us cry out for His love.
Happy Birthday Dad.