Sunday is the least known holiday on the national calendar. It is a small blip on a giant radar screen that hardly seems mentioning. Yet, right behind our recognition of South Malaccan Independence Day and National Take Your Cat to Church Day sits the exciting celebration of Father’s Day. Compared to Mother’s Day this is really a non-event in the larger scheme of things.

When I think of Father’s Day I conjure up images of a great patriarch ruling benevolently over his dynasty. In this fantasy the children pay homage and respect to this saintly figure of the family. He smiles lovingly at his offspring and touches them on the head as he blesses them. The whole family stands in awe of his wisdom and sagacity and defer to his years of experience.

The reality is an entirely different matter. Father’s Day is more recognized by the hardware store more than the family. It give the hardware store the opportunity to sell tools, lawn mowers and items to fix up the house. Every ad campaign is full of things that require manual labor, sweat and sore muscles. TV loungers, hunting trips, cool electronic stuff and fishing gear are lost on the back page. It makes a man tired just reading the paper or watching the TV ads before Father’s Day. Of course, there is always the alternative of underwear and ties. 

Both of my sons normally call on Father’s Day and check up on me. They think because I’m 75 years old I ought to be in a home wrapped in a shawl. They call to make sure I haven’t wandered off somewhere mumbling to myself. So much for the image of the beloved patriarch receiving honors from his progeny. 

I remind them of all the years of dedicated teachings I gave them to make them such good men. They always get a kick out of that speech, and I can hear them calling out to their wives, “Hey, you ought to hear what the old guy just said about being an example when we were kids!”

All I ask is the Lord lets me live long enough to see their kids grown and calling them on Father’s Day. If I haven’t wandered away from the home by then, I’m going to get a big laugh. 

Yep, Sunday is the big day. I just know this year is going to be different and dads are going to be lifted up all across this land. Then again I thought Alabama would beat Auburn this year and win another national championship. So I’m not really optimistic about a huge celebration with fireworks and a brass band. 

Sunday may be recognized as a one-day event called Father’s Day on our national calendar, but on heaven’s calendar every Sunday is Father’s Day. It is a day we honor our loving Father who gave us life and redeemed us through His Son. A real dad is the one who teaches his children the meaning of Father’s Day every Sunday in their Father’s house. Trust me, one day those children will arise and call him blessed for this gift of love. We must teach our children they can never love our Father as much as He loves us.

I had better go answer the phone. The caller ID says it is one of my sons calling to wish me an early happy Father’s Day. I need to get my notes ready for my speech on all the great things I did for them. It never hurts to give the boys a laugh.

Dr. Gerald Hallmark is a retired minister living in Alexander City whose column appears here each Friday.