Happy Father’s Day

Reader JP passed along this clip of Ricky Skaggs singing “Somebody’s Praying for Me” on Gaither’s Billy Graham tribute video, noting that it’s linked to from the National Day of Prayer site as an “amateur video.” Heheh. I’ve never heard Skaggs without stringed instruments before this, and the quiet style of acoustical piano suits him well, brings the tones out of his head and gives space to deal more deeply with his musical ideas. Check it out:

On this father’s day, the song seemed fitting. I know father’s aren’t the only parents who pray for their children, but I also know that alot of fathers that readers of this blog may be familiar with struggle with the more demonstrative forms of love that often come more naturally to mothers. I’m not excusing the pain and dysfunction that distant, silent fathers can introduce into their children’s lives. But it seems undeniably true that prayers may be the most meaningful language of love many of these men have for their children.

My father and I see the world very differently, and for a long, long time I took umbrage at the idea of his praying for me to live a life or be someone I am not, and won’t ever be. It has taken me in my skepticism and disaffection a long time to understand his mention of my name in prayer as something else and perhaps more important than just an expression of what he hopes for me in life. Now I think I see his constant prayers on my behalf as an unspoken lifeline thrown out between us, tattered and hard to find at times, but there all the same, all those years when neither he nor I had words for each other to bridge the gap of differences that divided us. Thanks for the prayers, dad. And Happy Father’s Day.

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  1. Alan wrote:

    A beautiful song, and sung so well by Ricky Scaggs. I agree, Doug - I never heard him sing without bluegrass instruments, and the piano is a wonderful backdrop for that song.

    But far more than the song, your last two paragraphs are why so many of us read your blog all the time. That was simply a transcendent capture of one of the unique essences of prayer.

    I’m thrilled that you’ve come to realize the importance of a fathers’ prayers, Doug. On February 26, 2005, my own Dad went Home. I would give whatever I own to hear him praying for me one more time. They were both spoken and unspoken lifelines, yet they showed us the way that we should go. And, the older we get, the wiser he seems to have been.

    Thanks, and Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads reading!

  2. Jim2 wrote:

    Amen, Alan, Amen.

  3. Sean wrote:

    Another great song on this Father’s Day is “In My Shoes” by Shiloh. Go to their website at www.shilohnet.com and listen to it on the radio!

  4. quartet-man wrote:

    I have loved this song since it came out. A friend introduced me to it. I have even sung it with the accompaniment track before. I love the alternate chord at the end too. :) It was unusual to hear them used in Christian Country at that time.

    Another great Fathers day song is Daddy Cut My Hair. The live version from a Gaither video is the one to hear. I sang that one year too with an accompaniment I made.

  5. Elaine wrote:

    I enjoyed reading this, I have a good friend who adopted a child… He took on the responsibilites of being a single dad, but he is a great one…. The joy, the love, the laughter and the happiness that he has brought to that child, far out weigh any problems that a single dad has…. The child has brought a lot of happiness to my friend’s life too…. Children, no wonder they are so close to the LORD’S heart…. This little child will grow up knowing the true love of a parent and will be a great well adjusted adult… My hats off to all dads… I hope you all had a wonderful day….

  6. Elaine wrote:

    I forgot to add, that I liked both songs… Thanks for sharing that with us!!

  7. Janet wrote:

    My daddy was a jewel among men; he went home to Heaven January 30, 2007, a week before his 86th birthday. I know that he loved me because he told me and, more important, he showed me that love in countless ways. When I had major surgery over 20 years ago, he held my hand in pre-op & asked if I wanted my “old dad” to pray for me. Yes, please! What a precious tower of strength he was! Oh, how I miss him. I cannot wait for the day that I can collect my next Daddy-hug! Today especially, I am grateful for the gift that my father was to me.

  8. Janet wrote:

    By the way, the two songs that really get the waterworks going for me are “Fly Again” by David Phelps and “It’s True” by Ivan Parker.

  9. Jim2 wrote:

    Did anyone catch the Bill/Luke Walton feature at halftime of the Lakers/Celtics game last night? To hear Bill tell his son “My love for you is unconditional …. and I’m proud of you” my jaw dropped. Isn’t that what every son wants to hear from his Dad? Sadly, the percentage who has is way too low.

  10. RF wrote:

    Great post, Avery.

    Most of us have had trouble relating to our earthly father’s wishes for us. It’s just a natural part of maturing. At some point, most of us go halfway with our fathers and our fathers go halfway with us. That’s the beauty of growing up.

  11. thom wrote:

    #7 Janet: now that brought tears to my eyes.

  12. Elisabeth wrote:

    love, love, love it!! i’m talking about the video AND the post. they’re the kind of reasons i read averyfineline…what a way with words!

  13. Robert wrote:

    Thank you very much for this, Avery. I hope tears don’t hurt a computer keyboard.
    Read about my dad here:

  14. Ken wrote:

    This will take you to the web site of the writer of the song.

  15. philip elwood wrote:

    Doug,your post about your dad’s prayers for you struck home. For me it was my mother’s prayers. Captious as i am about such things(the older i get i put down to,shamefully,plain old arrogance)i can’t help wondering was it her prayers that helped me out of some potentially disasterous situations? When she goes and the prayers cease i’ll find out then,perhaps to my cost.Food for thought.

  16. steve wrote:

    #4 Thank you for the “Daddy Cut My Hair”
    reference. You can see it here:


  17. quartet-man wrote:

    You’re welcome, Steve. I was going to put a link up last night to that very video, but never got around to it. Had you heard it before? I came across it several years ago and it is in my list of top Homecoming moments of all the ones I have seen.

  18. cynical one wrote:

    I’m glad to see some positive songs and discussion on dads. It seems most of the time we HONOR our moms on Mother’s Day, but lay a GUILT TRIP on dads for Father’s Day.

    Frankly, I don’t need anybody else giving me guilt. I have enough of my own, thank you very much.


  19. steve wrote:

    quartet man - I heard that song quite a few years ago and had forgotten about it.
    Your reference jogged my memory and I wanted to hear it again.

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