I know that sometimes you struggle to see yourself the way God sees you. I know that sometimes you struggle to even see yourself in a good light. I know you've had a life that was tough and it's been frustrating to you at times, maybe most of the time.
I can't say how God sees you because I'm not God, but I can tell you how I see you.
I see you as a man who loves Jesus. When I was eight, I was pretty sure that you and mom were getting divorced. I recall like it was yesterday when you left for that marriage retreat. I recall even more clearly when you returned cleanly shaven, humble demeanor, and kind words for us all. You stopped drinking and using drugs and probably other stuff my eight-year-old brain was unaware of. In short, you made a change that has inspired me to know that Jesus is real for all these years since.
I see you as a man who loves his son. I still recall a certain moment when I was twelve years old and had committed a particularly heinous crime (relatively speaking). I was in my room crying after my punishment had been dealt out. I was embarrassed and scared and just hated myself for those few moments. Dad, you came in to check on me at dusk. I was too embarrassed to face you, so I pretended to be asleep. You leaned over, kissed my face and whispered that you love me. I've never forgotten that event that took place twenty-four years ago and I've never doubted your love for me.
I see you as a man who loves his wife. When I was twenty-two you were tempted to leave your wife, as I think most men are. The difference between you and many others is that you faced that temptation, resisted it and not only stayed in your marriage, but made it better.
So, as a man of thirty-six with four sons of my own, I see you as quite a man. You've shown me love for Jesus. You've shown me love for a son. You've shown me love for a wife. In the course of a generation, you turned our family from darkness to light. You are a man I love and respect with all my heart. Happy Father's Day John William Fitch.