Father

Daddy, Dad, Papa, Father,

the names we have for our own,

the names our own call us.

So much bound up in one little word

for the man we invest with our trust.

 

“I’ll fix it!”

 

Baby, if you only knew

how new you are to me.

But how complicated can you be?

Just some biology, right?

 

Honey, where’s her mute button?

She didn’t come with one?

She’s fed.

Her diaper’s changed

I’m sooo tired…

“I can fix this.”

 

What kind of homework do you have?

A project?

When is it due?

Tomorrow morning?!

Okay, let’s get started.

 

The school dance?

She’s not that old!

She IS that old?

How did she get that old?

 

“I can’t fix this.”

 

High School, maybe college, a job, her own baby

and the cycle’s complete.

Like shampoo, rinse, repeat

and I still can’t get any sleep.


“God, help me fix this.”

A grandfather?

I can’t be that old!

I AM that old?

How did I get to be this old?!

 

One day I’m carrying you,

the next you’re holding me.

And in a flash life happens,

filling the pages in between.

 

God, our perfect father,

If we’re wise, we look to you first

To help us raise little humans

at their best and at their worst.

 

There is a book, after all,

though dads are loath to read instructions.

But first things first, can you help me

find my reading glasses?

©Joel Tipple
#6/16

Allergic Reaction

Sandra walked into the living room, where her mother was relaxing in a corner chair, reading. “Mom, what’s up with Dad?” she asked. Looking up, Sandra’s mother replied, “Why do you ask, Sandra?” “Well, he’s at his desk, writing. He seems upset.” “Oh, he’s fine. It’s probably just his allergies,” she replied, the corners of her mouth turned up a little. Sandra drew her eyes together in a frown. “What’s he allergic to?” At this her mother’s smile broadened and she chuckled before answering… “Your father says he’s allergic to ‘happy… and sad.'” she replied.

©Joel Tipple
#2/15

The Road To Healing

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God, we know you’re knocking.
Still, families are falling.
A dad’s afraid to say what he thinks.
A mom’s sure she’ll lose it if she doesn’t get a drink.
A daughter thinks the answer is a wedding ring.
A son thinks life’s a game… and he hopes he’s winning.
The television blares on,
and too few hear the door.

All journeys to healing begin
with one human being earnestly praying.
He heals families
one person at a time.
His desire is to rescue
and mend our broken hearts.
He throws hope to the hopeless
with a life line.

On the road to healing
God brings us together.
Building a body
from the ashes of the fallen.
He reveals beauty
where one could hardly find it.
Will we
choose
all apart,
or
all a part in?

© Joel Tipple
#28/14

The Body

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God, do you need me?
I’ve been wondering lately.
I’ve read I have a part to play,
but it just isn’t clear to me.

Trust in me, child. The body needs you.
If you listen and obey, I’ll show you how I choose.
The vision won’t seem clear, not certain from the start,
but a plant of faith has taken root in the soil of your heart.

But what about my limitations?
God, you don’t even know!
If I don’t have faith in me, how can you tell me it’s so?
That I can be of some use in the body of Christ?
Are you sure I’m not just a broken device?

Pick up your bible, child.
Read of great women and men.
They often failed at the beginning, but achieved great ends.
Then look closely at the other folks who were used in support.
Without them the endings would be quite different sorts.

Stepping out now, I choose to move and serve.
If I just take without giving, it’s his body I hurt.
God already chose me, the plan in place from the start.
It’s not all clear to me yet, but I can see the better part.

© Joel Tipple
#9/14

There You Go

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(For a friend)

Remember, when I was a child
and you were on your way out the door,
and I said please, can I go too?
Well, now feels like before.

There you go, out the door and to the Lord.
Praise God, it’s heaven’s gain,
but though I’m so full of joy for you,
It’s joy accompanied by pain.

But thank God for blessed memories…
in albums and frames on the mantle.
Those times you celebrated with me.
The times you handled what I couldn’t handle.

I grew older and it was my turn
to open and walk out the door.
You were braver the dad than I was the child,
but behind your eyes there was more.

The grief, now that you’re gone,
is married with joy and pride
for your legacy and the expectancy
I’ll see Jesus at your side.
We’ll look back at the front door together,
this time left open wide.

© Joel Tipple
#7/14

Christmas Sails

Christmas sails on,
another season blows through,
at breakneck speed
we rush
into and out of it.
We gather ourselves,
brush off bits of wrapping paper
and fir needles,
then begin the focus
on rest and recovery
until the next one.
Always an opportunity for growth,
and trying to focus on Jesus the most.
It seems with humans nothing is worth doing
unless it’s overdone.
But still, amid the fun,
God, we remembered Your Son…
was the reason.

© Joel Tipple
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