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Nothing is ever lost if we believe!

by Archie Wortham    --show me more like this

"You have no idea how many people your words touch!" Sue Weaver told me after church one Sunday. All I could do was smile, thank her, and feel unworthy of her words.

Sometimes I feel that I shouldn't be receiving such kinds words for something I consider I have on loan. It was nice to hear, because sometime we're not sure we doing the right thing; especially us parents; particularly us dads. We don't commend each other or ourselves regularly enough, even though we are supposed to validate each other.

A strange thing happened to me that same Sunday. I met a man I've never seen, and perhaps will never see again. Thanks to various editors, my picture accompanies this column. I was in a local grocery store, getting a few things for the house. And after a weekend of ‘honey-do's' in and outside the house, I looked terrible. I looked the way you never want to look meeting someone you've never met. Well Tim Considine, with his son, recognized me. I'd never seen him before, and wondered why he was staring at me.

Well Tim told me as Sue reminded me, people read this. He reminded me I am touching people and making a difference. But I challenge each of you who read this column. It's not me making the difference. It's each of you who chooses to do something with whatever words are sent to you via me. I'm just the instrument here.

It's nice to hear that there's an audience, a following, and not just an echo. Tim told me I keep him on track. I can't accept that responsibility or that compliment. Tim keeps Tim on track. I'm just a struggling dad who tries to let other dads know they are not alone. And as long as we fight the good fight, we will win! Sometimes that winning results from people believing in what you're doing. Whether it's a person at church, a stranger you've connected with who sees you in a store, or a son who's touched by your passion and gives you the words you once gave him.

"Don't worry, you can do it again," I told Jeremy sometime back when he lost something on the computer. You know you forget to save or back up something you wrote, a letter, a paper, a column?? Know what I mean? No amount of screaming, gnashing of teeth, or stares will make the computer spit it back to you!

Well the Sunday I met Tim was the same Sunday I learned to unzip a file. Well the disk I had in the drive at the time happened to have last week's column, and a satiric column about how pretentious I think all this latté stuff at Starbucks is. Well that column, just like the Styrofoam from Starbucks is gone. I erased the disk! Lost it all! GIGO, I guess. Garbage in—garbage out. But what evolved from all this is the echo children are for parents. We have no idea why we have them, and then we realize it's to hear God prompting our hearts.

I struggled with my sanity, trying my best not to shoot the computer. Thank God we don't have a gun. As I struggled to control myself, Jeremy was in bed, feeling bad for dad. He realized, as I'm sure the entire neighborhood was, I was upset. What so upset me is I couldn't do anything about what I'd done! Or could I? Something in the pit of that stomach that ached beyond repair told me that you had a son who was worried. So I went to Jeremy, told him what had happened, and I'd be all right.

With orbs the color of liquid mahogany, he looked at me with a smile on his face and said, "Don't worry dad, you can write a better column." I can't begin to tell you how that made me feel. He gave me more than I thought I'd lost. He touched me far more than I could touch another. He gave me a story I'm happy to share. My little echo told me he was listening; he cared, and had faith in me. And you know what I told him?

I told him "You're right, and before you get up, I'll have that article redone." You read it last week. And this story? I had it done before I came home. That's what faith can do. Believing in someone, even when they don't believe in themselves. That's what Tim and Sue were telling me. They believed in me, even when I don't have the courage, the forthrightness, or the ability to write and tell people my story. That's all I'm doing. Telling you how humbling being a father is, and how proud I am to have the sons God gave me. Dads, that's what it's all about!

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