The Gift

When I was a junior in high school my dad picked me up from basketball practice one afternoon with the biggest goofiest grin I had ever seen him wear.  I said, “Dad, what are you grinning about?”  He said, “You’ll see in a minute.”  I said, “O.k.”  Well his excitement got the best of him and before we made the two blocks from the gym to the house he told me that he had gotten a truck for me.  Well then I had the biggest goofiest grin ever!

Then I saw the truck…….it was the ugliest thing I had ever seen!  Dad must have been able to tell I wasn’t impressed and he said we would fix it up.  I knew that we didn’t have a lot of extra money those days so I wondered how he was able to get a truck at all.  He told me that he traded for it.  He painted a truck for someone else and he got this truck in return.  I was relieved that he hadn’t paid for that ugly old thing!  The truck was a 1979 F-150.  It had been a Terminix company truck.  It was orange except for the top of the cab, which was white.  The interior was red with metal showing on the floor board and springs pooping through on the driver’s seat.  The bed was so rusted out that there were huge holes in it where you could see the ground.  We definitely had our work cut out for us.

The first thing we did was find another bed.  It was sky blue and had a terrible gash just behind the cab on the passenger side, but it didn’t have any holes in it!  The next step was repairing all the dents.  We used bondo to fill in the dents and sprayed primer over the bondo once it was sanded smooth enough.  So now the truck is orange on the cab, sky blue on the bed, and white on the top, with big black and gray primer spots all over it.  Finally, the day came when it was time to paint it.  It came out gorgeous!  Candy apple red, clear coat, it didn’t look anything like the same truck.  The insides were better too.  The engine had been rebuilt, the seats and floorboard repaired.  I was stunned at how it had turned out.  The best part was that Dad and I had done it together.

A few weeks after it had been painted I had an accident.  I put a deep scratch in the bed.  I was so upset and scared of how Dad would react when he found out.  The ride home that night was awful.  When I got home, Dad was sitting on the back steps.  When I told him what happened, he didn’t scream or yell at me.  He went to look at the damage and then he said the most wonderful thing “We’ll fix it.”

In an instant all the damage was repaired with three simple words.  The older I get, the more that night means to me.  It is kind of like the way God repairs us.  God doesn’t scream when we mess up.  He doesn’t brow beat us.  He calmly loves us and says, “We’ll fix it.” Thank you Dad for being a Godly example in your own way.  I love you will all my heart and I’m proud to be your son.

written by

Jeremy Banister


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