My dad was a man of few words, and I never remember hearing him tell me he loved me. One weekend when I was in college, I made an unscheduled trip home. My parents were not expecting me, and as I came into the house unannounced by way of the back door, my dad was standing in the den with his back toward me. He heard the door open, and turned to see who was there. This occurred almost forty years ago, but I can still see my father’s face as clearly as if it were only yesterday. As he turned and saw me, his only son, standing before him, his face, so indelibly imprinted upon my mind, said more than all the “I love you’s,” he had a hard time saying. It said more than all the expensive gifts that my parents were able to buy for me. It was as though someone had turned on an electric switch, and his face came alive with the incandescent light of love and joy. I knew my father loved me with all his heart. He could not have convinced me otherwise if he had tried. If he had told me he didn’t love me I would have laughed at him.  You cannot manufacture loving actions. They only come from a broken, repentant  heart that recognizes and embraces one’s own lack of selfless love.

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