The Grace Of Our Fathers – June 19, 2022 (170/365)

Enough with the procrastinating. Enough with all that I insisted was important. Enough with obsessing over the comfort, and how I deserve it.

It’s time to flow. It’s time to let all the words out. It’s time to let all the filth wash off, it’s time to let the clarity come in… It’s time to write, and today, we write about our Dads.

I write about my Dad. I’m thinking about what to share in a couple of hours to my congregation, and though I could go ahead and open with the story, no, the parable of the Prodigal Son, I will eventually get to talking about the experiences I had with my own Dad which absolutely impacted how I live my life. Let’s just say that I saw the glory of our God through my own Dad, and this was true, even if I didn’t think we had such a good and awesome relationship.

I remember this one time we were coming up to Baguio from Manila. I don’t think we had the privilege of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway at the time, because it was clear that we were taking the traditional McKinley Highway – that’s where one particular incident happened. It was my brother Kip on the wheel. He was trying his darndest to maneuver through heavy traffic. Dad was riding shotgun, Mom and I were in the back. I don’t remember the exact details, but somehow Kip got into a situation with another driver in a sedan, and they were trying to get ahead of each other – nobody was giving way, until Kip took a huge risk and eventually cut in front of the other guy.

Next thing I remember was hearing a police siren, and this car speeding to get in front of us to block our way… and this time the car had one of those rotating lights on the roof where the driver was seated. I’m guessing this guy was an undercover cop or something like that. He came out of the car with a walkie-talkie in hand, and he was probably asking for backup while my brother and my dad got out of the car to approach him. Mom and I eventually got out as well. At first it was my brother and the cop who were shouting at each other, and you may have guessed it – by now the cop was mouthing off stuff like, ‘do you know who I am!?’

I remember my Dad was still calm at this time.. until the cop made the mistake of mouthing off on him as well, saying the same thing. My Dad went straight to the point – He didn’t give the cop any chance to answer by asking the same rhetorical question back to him, but he just went ahead and shouted his own name and rank in the Army. After this the cop backed up a little bit, and weasely me tried to do some pointless assertations of my own, shouting provocations, but at the back of my dad and my brother. I’m just laughing as I share this, because I just remember how I was apparently the most cowardly in this circumstance.

Fast forwarding a little bit, and the cop was getting back into the car. My dad and brother were talking and walking on the way back to our car, and Mom was being the most motherly person in this situation, going as far as approaching the guy as he was sitting in the driver’s seat, apologizing to him and appealing for peace and calm minds.

There were two things that came into mind as I was going through this memory.

First was how my Dad asserted dominance. He didn’t say anything until the right time, when the other guy went one step too far… and when he did, Dad didn’t hesitate, saying what he needed to say, and saying it in a loud voice, for all to hear. And one other thing – I’m pretty sure my Dad was aware of the possibility that this other guy was possibly carrying a firearm, but that didn’t stop him – not only from raising his voice and stating who he was, but also from physically stepping forward and lunging, literally taking more ground. I wanted to point out that my Dad took a great risk, because the greater reward was the protection of his family.

Second, was how the other guy responded. He just stopped talking when he heard who he was dealing with. Sure, he may have talked more after Dad said who he was, but he definitely toned down. I’m not necessarily sure why this came into mind, now that I’m mentioning it, but I guess it’s to realize that this man wasn’t just dealing with another man – He was staring down a family, and it wasn’t like nobody else was looking at what was going on. With all due respect, I guess he knew when to fold and walk away.

Of all the memories I’ve had of my Dad, this takes a spot in my Top Ten moments with him. I’ve seen how my Mom took her role as the nurturer of the family, going as far as ensuring that the guy had the least bitter feelings. But I also saw how my Dad easily took on his own role as protector, gatekeeper of the family… not necessarily taking charge immediately, but knowing the right time to take control – and oh, how he did it, putting everything on the line if only to protect his wife and children.

By this I see God’s grace. I see Christ, laying down His body and His reputation, if only to protect, and not only to protect, but to save, and to save not just His family, but the world.


I remember this other time, around, oh, 10-15 years later, when it was my turn on the wheel. I remember it was a pretty stressful day already, because in a matter of a couple of days Dad was there to witness me backing up and scratching a bus in the Dangwa terminal, and he was certainly there while I bumped into other car behind me while we were standing by in the Public Market… thankfully, I only bent the guy’s license plate.

Third time’s the charm. No, there were no cops involved. There wasn’t even any traffic. In fact, I was the only one doing the driving, and Dad was, as usual, in the passenger side. I was the only one doing the parking… and in my flustered state of mind, and in my lack of experience I insisted in taking a parking space, front-first. Apparently I had faulty perception of what was in front of me as well. Dad was already telling me that I overshot and needed to back up and adjust the car, but I insisted, and boom – I hit the rear of the car I was supposed to be parked besides.

There were no cops, but a security guard took notice, and immediately assisted, first to get the car actually parked, and then to address this situation. I was already expecting my Dad to unleash holy hell on me… but to my surprise, he calmly got out of the car, told my mom to go ahead to get a seat at the restaurant, and told me to stick around. He talked to the security guard, and calmly went into our dashboard for some paper and a pen, writing down an apology and leaving his phone number for the owner of the bumped car to get with him as soon as possible.

He had no words… and I had no words. Again, he could have drilled into me as I expected, but this was one of those other Top Ten moments with him, where I saw how he took charge – and oh, how he did it, putting everything on the line if only to protect his wife and children.

By this I see God’s grace. I see Christ, laying down His body and His reputation, if only to protect, and not only to protect, but to save, and to save not just His family, but the world.


Fast forward to after Dad passed away… and if you’ve spent a good amount of time reading everything that I have to say here, you’ll know I say this story quite often.

Mom and I were in McDonald’s, after coming from the cemetery to clean Dad’s grave. We were having our customary break, when on that particular time in, oh, 2013, I just began to cry. I’m assuming we were just remembering Dad, and I’m sure these stories came into mind in some way or form, but it hit me right then and there, a sort of revelation that just came straight from the Lord –

My dad may not have loved me the way I expected, but man, did he love me with his best.

I may not have realized it right away, but I am just so thankful to my God for letting me know this.

By this I see God’s grace. I see Christ, laying down His body and His reputation, if only to protect, and not only to protect, but to save, and to save not just His family, but the world.

I may not have realized it right away, but I am just so thankful to my God for letting me know this.

Cheers, to our fathers. I need to go.

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