I’m thankful for my father. After many years living miles apart, I enjoy being near him again.

I’m thankful for my father-in-law. He has been a friend since welcoming me into his family.

I’m thankful for my grandfathers. I miss them both but I drive by their old neighborhoods since I’ve moved back to Georgia. I remember walks and ball games and meals and conversations.

I’m thankful for Papa Taylor, a great-grandfather I knew as a child. I would love to talk today with him about his music, his poetry, and our family story. I wish I could write a book with him.

I’m thankful for the honor of being the father of Taylor, Aaron, and Graham. Those men grew up fast. I love and appreciate them.

I’m thankful for the many men who have been my spiritual fathers. Guiding, mentoring, encouraging, daring, forgiving: I needed, and need, them.

I’m thankful for the many people who have allowed me to encourage them. I’m not a fabulous spiritual dad, but I am honored to watch the young become our leaders. Don’t believe all the pessimism. There are great young leaders in our world.

I’m most thankful for my Heavenly Father. His love has saved me. And He is there for those who despise Father’s Day. Though deep wounds influence our views on days like today, I pray we all embrace His love.