The Necktie

MINDANAO DAILY MIRROR 2000 JUNE 17  

Bitter and angry was Jim as he shared his early childhood years to the chaplain. He relayed the story of a teacher asking his Grade 3 class to color a piece of paper that was cut out in the form of a necktie. This would be a gift for their fathers on Father's Day. But Jim, being rather clumsy and uncreative, messed up quite badly; yet, he was proud of his work. He could not wait to give it to his father, come Sunday. On the way home, he dropped it accidentally in a mud puddle. It was slightly soiled but still, presentable.

Father's Day came and he proudly presented the work of art - the necktie, to his father. His father, rather short-fused, became indignant. "What!" he cried, "Am I to wear this ugly thing today, for Father's Day? Am I crazy? Who taught you how to draw? It's all dirty as well? You stupid little kid!"

Hanging his head Jim ran away, burying his angry thoughts. Etched in his mind were countless other memories of his angry father. In time, he became bitter and cynical, much like his father.

As Jim recanted his story, the chaplain nodded but abruptly asked, "Jim, if you had to give that necktie you made to Jesus, what would Jesus say?"

The grown man thought for a moment and replied, "I suppose Jesus would take the tie, clean it, and put it on.

But the chaplain had a different notion. "Jim, my idea is that Jesus would take that necktie you made and put it on the way it was; He would be proud of it. He would even say, 'This truly came from the bottom of Jim's heart. He is my son and I love him. He is mine!"

Thus, Jim had a new perception who Jesus and God the Father are in the Bible. This adapted and true story demonstrates how God can take our weak efforts to illustrate that He does not want the best art, the perfect necktie, or skillfully executed workmanship. Jesus is willing to take us as we are, soiled and muddied, bitter and angry, taking us in His outstretched hands on the cross. If Jim's father had accepted the Father's Day gift from his son, Jim would take this as an affirmation of his own self worth. But God, the best Father this world has ever experienced, knows well enough not to extinguish our feeblest attempts in meeting Him. Psalm 103:13 says, "As a (good) father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." God knows how we are wired up, each person having different circuit. If we give the simple gift of our lives to God, He promises us in 2 Samuel 7:14, "I will be your Father and you will be my son (daughter).

On this Father's Day, you may have good or bad memories of your earthly father but there is a Father who beats them all; He has the most compassion and is the most giving. Will you not consider Him today? 

From Daily Wisdom by George Prins

2000 Jon Joaquin. All rights reserved.