By Caleb Sharp
My dad’s home was here in Baden but his heart was with everyone he came into contact with, and because I know that, I truly am sorry for everyone who is missing my father. Many have lifetime memories with him – from the party days before he was saved to the old hippy driving the church van. I joke with my sisters that they grew up during the fire and brimstone days of my father’s walk with Jesus, when he was quick to condemn and tell someone they were going to hell. I got the luxury of growing up in the love, compassion, and understanding phase of his life.
It was hard at times as a kid because we were forced to live the same way as the people my father served – meaning we ate food out of dumpsters because we weren’t any better than the people we were feeding. We wore hand-me-down clothes and played with broken toys because he believed that if it wasn’t good enough for him then he wouldn’t give it away. I remember a time where he gave my football away to a guy who said his son would love to have one, but he couldn’t afford it.
As I got older, I become a foot soldier in his war of love, his right hand man for pick up and dropping off donations. As a child I loved going around with him giving stuff away and I enjoyed it every time he called me and asked me to stop what I was doing to go get donations. I always told myself that if my dad could do it then I could as well.
The day of the wake hundreds of people came to show him respect and the family love and I couldn’t be sad. I was full of joy to call him my dad and see that all the things I thought we lacked in our lives showed meaning by how many people he touched. It motivates to keep on with his work and try to keep up with him – there was always a competition between him and me and he has set the bar high for me in this life.
There are two teachings that my dad in stowed away in me. One was never say sorry. Some people may think that’s wrong or rude, but I was taught to not say or do anything I would be sorry for. Since losing my father here on earth, I have been thinking about this not being sorry thing and it hit me – if you act in love then there will never be anything to be sorry for. The other lesson was every action has a consequence – so make sure it’s worth it before you do it. Again, it hit me. It falls back on love. If all your actions are based on love and serving God, then no matter what comes, it will be worth it.
This war of love we fight ain’t over – God needs more foot soldiers like my dad.
God needs foot soldiers to let everyone know that no matter where you come from or what you have done in your life, that Jesus loves you and forgives you of your sins. And not just say those words, but also show it! Show it by giving them food or clothes. Simply giving hugs and telling people that someone, Jesus and you, cares about them – that can go a long way.
I pray God will use me like my dad and make it where I can love people as much as he did and also give me the faith my dad had to trust in Jesus to provide for him. I struggle with both those things and fall short all the time. But God is always there to fall on and he will always pull us through hard times.
I ask everyone, please don’t dwell on the loss of my dad, but be strong and continue to move on and show love. Don’t let the devil use this great man God gave us by hindering our hearts from love and belief in God and his plan because we miss him, Don Sharp. Rather, find strength in God – for that is where my dad found his! Everyone says my dad was their rock and their strength, but my dad stood on a stronger rock and he found strength in the Creator off all things!