A Father’s Gift
My first Bible advocate wasn’t the magazine. I’d seen it around the house growing up, but I didn’t pay it much attention until later in life. No, my first advocate didn’t come to me on paper but in a person. My dad.
From my earliest memories, I watched him reading his well-worn Bible at night by lamplight. He wasn’t a booklover in general, but he loved that book — The Book. He consumed it and it consumed him. Dad not once made me read my Bible. He never lectured me about it. He simply read it and lived it. I watched and somewhere along the line, I started reading and loving it too.
Dad loved the Bible’s promises and prophecies best. He took them with the utmost seriousness. He believed every human interest and ambition had to be subordinated to them. Like a “lamp unto my feet” (Psalm 119:105), the Word reveals who God is and where He is taking us. The Word illuminates who we are — and aren’t — as well. “Find yourself in the Word, son,” Dad would tell me. “Don’t flinch at what you see.”
When I came to know Jesus at a young age, Dad told me to wait to be baptized. He didn’t doubt that I knew Jesus, but he wanted to make sure I knew myself. I waited, and when I finally made my public confession and was baptized in my teens, I knew my need. Like a two-edged sword, the Word of God had cut deep, exposing every thought and intent of my heart (Hebrews 4:12). Like a mirror, it showed me what manner of man I was: unclean and undone (James 1:22-25). Dad taught me to never forget what I saw and to never stop looking at who I am and where God is taking me.
Dad died and was buried here in Jasper the week of Thanksgiving. I’m writing now only a few weeks later, trying to wrap my mind around our loss. But what is clear to me is how thankful I am to God for my dad, who advocated the Bible so honestly and passionately. I dedicate this BA to him. He knew his Lord, and he knew himself by the light of God’s Word. And he gave that gift to me.
I love you, Dad! Thanks!
— Jason Overman