The Sunfish: A Picture of two Fathers [Revisited]

Picture of sunfish wuited for 1 or two person.

Would you like to take a trip in time? Some time ago, I wrote an article comparing my Dad with my Heavenly Father. What brought this up?

During my morning prayer walk, I felt a need to write something, about fathers. As a blogger, I am wired to think of something new. However, the Holy Spirit had a better idea.

What idea?

I immediately recalled Matthew 13:51-52 and knew the perfect article. I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. Sometimes, it pays to bring out both old treasures along with the new ones.

When I was a teen, I used to see people riding on small sailboats called a “Sunfish”.  It just looked like a lot of fun.  I never imagined the work involved with these boats and I asked about getting one.

Dad has found the body of an old Sunfish and brought it home.  The fiberglass bottom was in need of serious sanding.  I can still recall the rough texture of the boat’s bottom.

“Can I borrow the power sander?” I asked my dad.

I was not looking forward to spending the time needed to smooth out the bottom with regular sandpaper.  I was disappointed when he said “no”.  Dad did say that I’d do more damage to the bottom.  I’d be better off with the regular sandpaper.  After that, he left me to the task of sanding down the bottom of the boat.

I would love to say that I finished sanding down the old Sunfish and eventually went sailing. How ever, I did not last very long sanding down that boat.  I soon became discouraged and likely stopped on that very day.

I’d love to say my dad helped with the sanding of the boat and encouraged me, not to quit.  He just gave me the sandpaper and I was told to sand down the boat.

Truth is, my dad was not an encourager.  He loved his three sons and I can easily recall going fishing, boating, and sledding with him.  I know Dad was glad when we accomplished something; however, I don’t recall hearing him saying it.

Why didn’t I ask my father for help?  Truth is, I never asked Dad because I didn’t expect him to pitch in.  I felt like Dad would just say “Do it, yourself!” Dad has said this many times in the past and that day would have been no different.

From what I recall, my father was a man of strong opinion and would commentate on just about anything.  If we get something wrong then Dad would yell and complain. This did not help and was a source of frustration.

UPDATE: Here’s an oddity. As I am editing this old blog post, a curious thing has happened. My memory of a distant past is seemingly forgotten and covered by gentleness and forgiveness. A clear sign of my Heavenly Father healing my memories and heart. Back to the original story!

Here is what I was shown on the day I am writing this blog post.  I was standing by the old Sunfish.  Beside me, I saw someone, quite familiar.  This person is giving me a hand with the project.  “Don’t be discouraged. I can help you, with this,” he says.

“Your father is right about the power sander,” he chuckled softly.  “You would have done more harm than good with it,” he continues in a gentle tone of voice. I could see this man clearly knew carpentry.

I smiled and began the work on sanding the bottom of the old sailboat.  I was glad for the company of my Friend and Father.  My heart rejoiced at His help and even more for the attention that my Father gave me. For God, the Father was genuinely interested in what I was doing.

While working on the boat, God, the Father was giving me, a variety of encouragement, and instructions.  It was a pleasure to talk about the project and what I hoped to do— when done.  It was good to share my plans with my Father.  I’m sure if something had been wrong; my Father would have gently corrected me.

When I felt down or discouraged, my Father did not complain or rebuked me for it.  Rather, I was told “Do not be afraid.  For the LORD is with you and he is your strength and your confidence.”  In the end, we finished the work on the old Sunfish sailboat.


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