So today is Father's Day and many of you may remember the little Mother's Day post that I featuring my Mum, and so it is only appropriate that today I feature my Dad.
This is my dad, Stephen Davis (please note the spelling, Grandma gets really cross if we get it wrong). We like to call him Steve. Here he is as a little blonde bombshell. If you don't really know Steve but you see him around and think he looks grumpy/old/austere, I recommend trying to get him to speak. He's very funny, although he does occasionally go by the name Silent Steve. If you get the chance, ask him a question about politics, or football, or my mum Helen. And then wait for him to respond. You have to give him time, he's lived with women for a REALLY long time now, he's got used to being talked out of the conversation. But he's full of wisdom, wit and interesting facts that noone's interested in. He really is worth the investment.
My dad was a police officer in the Metropolitan Police Force (and yes, that is the Queen. And no, not Helen Mirren), faithfully serving the communities of London for 27 years until the second he could retire, which he promptly did. I don't think that Dad loved being a police officer or loved giving back to the community or seeking justice or anything else like that, I just think that he knew his responsibilities to support his super lovely brood of girls and the woman that he loves most in the world. And so one of the things I like most about my dad is that he is a living example that life doesn't stop at retirement, sometimes that's when it starts.
After Dad retired in 2003 (I think) he decided it was time to serve God somewhere else and so he led the way out to Kosovo. It's really his fault that I'm here now. And when he came back from Kosovo I noticed a change - the appearance of a New Testament and Psalms which now lived permanently in his back pocket. And soon after that his study bible started turning up on chairs usually reserved for The Economist or a book on something weighty and boring. And not long after that I realised that my dad had turned a corner of his faith, something that I'm not sure he'd ever quite worked out how to live out best until then. His experience in Kosovo changed him and brought him closer to God, and that's just cool. Especially as he was really old, but ready to change.
But even though it took until he retired and was free to take that risk, he was showing me the character of God long before that. Let me be clear, my dad is far from perfect. But for 20 years he worked at a job he did not love to give me the food that I needed, the clothes and shoes and bags and books that I needed, and the airfare to Australia for my gap year. And of course, uni. He has been the most provisional father I could have needed, faithfully and without grumbling giving me what I needed (and sometimes what I wanted). He has shown me the nature of a faithful father, one who isn't conditional, unsteadfast, or flighty, but is firm, solid as a rock, and full of love. And as I see in him what a father can be, I know what my God the Father is. And sometimes I know what He isn't, when Dad gets stroppy and starts muttering and throwing (little) things around. I know that my God isn't like that, and that's ok.
So Dad, you like Mum have done your bit to show me what my God is like and I am grateful for that. You are a legend. Lou, Char, Jess and I are all very proud to be Daughters of Steve.
I love you!
Questionable hair/outfit Steve