While it would be tempting to chalk up these comments to cheesy sentimentality, I would rather like to think of them as a mere surfacing of a deep and abiding reality in my life. Today, my family acknowledges the birth of my father and celebrates his life—a life spent giving, loving, and selflessly sacrificing in such a way that his reward does not come from his right hand acknowledging the left or the crowd applauding his performances, but from the smile of our heavenly Father whom he has so faithfully represented. So today I celebrate a man who has lived before me as one who is my silent warrior, who daily labors for me in prayer that I would be a man of God and that my life would be consecrated to Jesus, a father who has trained me up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and instructed me more with his walk than with his words, a friend who has invested more time listening and encouraging than any person in my life. He is a silent warrior in that he is fighting the good fight as a faithful man of God who walks in his integrity and feet does not slip, whose speech is sound and not perverted, whose heart is tender and sensitive to express the love of God to everyone he meets.
So to my silent warrior, I cannot allow this day be silent without saying “Happy Birthday.” I know that the worth of these words cannot be measured in their length, but I hope that they be weighed in the depth of my gratitude to God for you. Even more, as I continue to learn to walk in the ways of the Lord, I will continue to realize this as I will find myself tracing the paths of one who walked before me in faithfulness, always pointing me to Jesus. So today, as I sing the praises of my father on his birthday, you just might find me placing my feet in familiar places, for God has given me one whose footing is sure and path is right. Thanks, dad, for giving your life away. May God richly bless you on your birthday.