Brushstrokes of a Father

My mother would be proud of him. 

Dad at the Art Show

Seven years ago, ill with cancer and waning in strength, she surprised my dad by asking me to take her to his art show at the local senior center. His smile showed how much her coming meant to him. He introduced her to his art-colleagues as they walked hand in hand around the room to view the paintings. Live music, refreshments, and handshakes all around made it a memorable occasion. We still talk about it. She passed away two short months later.

Dad uses water colors to create his paintings . . . usually a still life or a scene from nature. Before the Coronavirus kept him home, he attended class every week after he had lunch at my kitchen table. Our Thursday lunches became a ritual for us, one I looked forward to—and one I miss. I hope we can add it back into our routines soon. 

One of my favorites . . .

As another Father’s Day rolls around, I’ve been reflecting on Dad’s brushstrokes in my life. He’s modeled the steady colors of consistency, godliness, and loyalty. His dry sense of humor adds lighter shades to our conversations. His having lived many decades colors my perspective, and His love for God’s Word challenges me to highlight what’s truly important when “the cares of the world” seem out of proportion (Matthew 13:22). We’ve both lost our spouses and understand loneliness and loss, yet we help each other move forward with God’s strength and with grateful hearts.

Many have not been blessed with a faithful dad, and no human father is perfect. How grateful I am that we have a heavenly Father whose love has enabled us to be called children of God (1 John 3:1), and as such, we are recipients of His compassionate understanding (Psalm 103:13-14). He is the “Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6) who listens to our secret prayers even though He knows our needs before we ask (Matthew 6:5-15, 32). Before His death, Jesus comforted His disciples when He told them about His “Father’s house,” the home of many dwelling places being prepared for those who follow Him (John 14:2). Knowing and trusting our heavenly Father offers brushstrokes of hope to us in the dailyness of life’s earthbound canvas.

A Light in the Darkness

Along with Mom, I’m proud of my 84-year-old dad. This Father’s Day, I’m grateful for the brushstrokes of character he’s painted for me and for his example of quiet strength and hope.

Even more so, I offer praise to our heavenly Father for His good and perfect gifts. In our uncertain, chaotic, and ever-changing world, He remains ever constant (James 1:17), a light in the darkness . . . and a compelling portrait on display for all the world to see!

Sarah Lynn Phillips

Sarah Lynn Phillips shares the inspiring story of her family’s near-fatal car crash in her award-winning book, Penned Without Ink: Trusting God to Write Your Story. For individual or group study, she has also written a companion Leader’s Guide with reproducible study sheets. Her articles, devotions, and poems have appeared in numerous online and print publications. Through her writing and speaking, Sarah offers a vision of hope in the hard times. She has three adult daughters and four delightful grandchildren. Reading, quilting, and tending her garden are among Sarah’s hobbies.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Pinterest - YouTube


  1. So beautiful, Sarah. I also loved seeing examples of your Dad’s work. What a wonderful post honoring your earthly father, and your heavenly father too.

Comments are closed.