I remember hearing the words… “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s a bird! It’s a plane… It’s Superman!” Superman was indestructible. Every week when watching Superman there was a threat! Yet Superman was always willing to sacrifice his well being for the well being of others. However, in each episode Superman won! He could not lose. I think that is why it was such a shocker when seeing the ending scene of Batman V. Superman. Superman was not just defeated he was dead… and buried! I remember walking out of the theater dejected! Hurt! I can’t really explain why… until the last day of Summer this year… my dad died.
Superman was not supposed to die… and neither should my dad! As a boy, I remember seeing dad as a super man. Perhaps one reason was that he said Superman was his brother and they were separated at birth (I think I believed that until I was 12 years old… don’t judge me he was a REALLY good storyteller)! Perhaps it was because my dad is who I saw everyday being… well… a man. I watched how he interacted with my mother, with me, with my brother, how he worked at the house, how he laughed and wove a story. I marveled at who he was and held on to every word, every tickle, every moment. To me dad was Superman! Not saving the world (or even Lois Lane) but rather he was the picture of how a man should be and he seemed super! He was the pinnacle of who I could be. So when my dad died… I didn’t know what to do!
If I’m telling the truth (and I am), I have to say that I still don’t know what to do with the loss of my dad but I am learning to point up and move forward. As I process my dad’s death here is what I am reminded of…
Everyone has influence –
My dad worked in shipping and receiving over 30 years. He thought he did not have much influence but his life lessons and stories have influenced me and many others. His “life celebration” service was full (we thought it was lame to call it a “memorial service”! We thought about saying “Funeral” but decided against it even though dad thought we should put the “fun” back in “funeral” [I’m telling you he just looked at stuff a little different than most people])! He would often say things like “I’m satisfied with not leading.” But that is the paradox of life we can’t not lead. John Maxwell says that influence is leadership and everyone influences. So dad was very influential in his own way! I am reminded that everyone has influence.
Everyone dies –
I hate this one! I catch myself reflecting on Genesis 1-3 and think… “what if Adam and Eve wouldn’t have messed it all up for all of us?!?!”We would have lived together… FOREVER! However, sin has infected all of us! Hebrews 9:27 – says “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…” Lest we think we are immortal on this side of eternity we need to live in the reality that one day even the super-est of men and women will die.
We will meet again –
I hate that we die but I am thankful that we don’t just go back to the earth. We have been given great hope in 2 Cor 5:6-8… “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” For those who have surrendered to Christ (who is even better than Superman), they have been given eternal life and we will spend it together! Though my heart grieves I can say with gratitude that “it is not goodbye, just, I will see you later!” So… Dad, I’ll see you later!
Christ is the ultimate example –
As I alluded to earlier, Christ is our ultimate example. My dad was great but he had his flaws (just like every person before him and every person after him). Therefore, Paul’s words are especially meaningful as I consider my dad, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” So as I consider the life of my dad and remember his legacy I will imitate those things that reflect Christ (less I unwittingly worship him which sometimes happens after someone passes).
“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s a bird! It’s a plane… It’s Superman!” Superman was indestructible… I thought. However, even Superman dies. Like Superman, but in different ways, my dad made sacrifices but the ultimate sacrifice was made by Christ on the cross. On the last day of Summer this year! … my dad died. I will miss him, hurt for him and I will also celebrate his life and the lessons he taught me! Dad was a super man!
These are the things I am learning. Perhaps you have had a similar experience. Please post your thoughts in the comments below.
Remembering my dad, Kenneth Lee White – My Superman
March 8, 1954 – September 21, 2017