Posted by: Bro. Lawrence D. | April 15, 2009

A Taxing Event

My father, Harold Gene Dacus Sr., died 5 years ago today from complications due to lung and brain cancer. Ironically, he did bookeeping/tax preparation for a living and he died on “tax” day. For me personally, it was one of the most paradoxical events of my life. 

I don’t have to tell any young man, who has had a great relationship with his dad, how much I admired and revered my dad. He was the smartest, strongest, kindest, most generous man I’ve ever known. To me, he had all the answers and could solve all the problems. He was my best and most trusted friend. His advice was most precious to me and there wasn’t a time when I didn’t trust it, even when I thought he may not fully understand my problem. But for all of these lofty sentiments, there existed a troublesome reality. He was my idol. He was my god or at least the mediator between me and the true God.

It wasn’t merely a boy’s admiration for his dad. This was worship. If my dad requested anything of me, I couldn’t say no. (And I have the damaged credit report to prove it!) If he had an idea about how something should go, I couldn’t disagree. If he said a verse of scripture meant this/that or that a certain religious practice was “biblical”, then I couldn’t disagreee. And if I did, I would be depressed, literally, for weeks on end because I couldn’t fathom in my mind how I could disagree with a man who was, in my opinion at that time, always right.

However, here’s the paradox. When he died, I wasn’t upset with God. I didn’t charge God falsely nor did I question Him as to why He had allowed this tragic event. As a matter of fact, I was fully convinced that this was a part of God’s plan and that it would benefit everyone involved. But where did that come from? Truthfully, I must admit, my dad had taught me that truth and God had enacted it upon my heart/mind so that I could draw upon it at that most emotionally taxing time.

Since my dad was 39 years old when I was born, he spent a great deal of time as I grew up, reminding me that he would not always be there. Whenever I would ask him for money, he would give it to me and say, “Now remember son, I will not always be here to take care of you.”. Whenever I needed advice, he would give it to me and say, “Now son, you’re going to have to learn to figure these things out because I’m not always going to be here.”. In his own way, he was preparing me for his death and so was the Lord.

As a living example, my dad embodied Romans 8:28. Here was a man that I’ve never seen worried. I’ve never seen him overreact to a trying situation. He was always with a kind word and a word of praise on his lips. He had an unshakable confidence that God would cause all things to work together for the good. So when he was low on money, he had an attitude of praise. When people were disappointing him, he had an attitude of praise. When the congregation shrunk, he had an attitude of praise. When his name was dragged through the mud, without reason, he had an attitude of praise. When he was falsely accused, he had an attitude of praise.

After he died, my relationship with the Lord grew by leaps and bounds. No longer did I have a filter. It was me and God. I needed God most at this time and He was there. Truly I drew near to God and He drew near to me. I began to think the thoughts that were in the back of my mind while my father was living, out loud and boldly. Without that unrecognized allegiance to my dad, I have been able to reassess and rethink and even relearn everything that I thought I knew about the Lord, His people and His purpose. Spiritually speaking, I am now truly God’s man and His alone. Now, I owe no allegiance to anyone’s ideas, thoughts, interpretations, etc. of the things of God. Now God is His own revealer. Sure, He yet uses great brothers and sisters as a tool to open my eyes. But in the final analysis, He is now my final authority.

As you can see, for me, my father’s death was both one of the worst and best events of my life. I lost my physical relationship with my earthly father but I gained my spiritual relationship with my Heavenly Father. I yet have my dad’s words and teachings in the reserves of my mind. But now they are subject to the Word and Teaching of my Heavenly Father. And I am the better for it!

Not all of the fallout from my dad’s death has had positive results and for that I solicit your prayers for my family. But at the same time,  I want to encourage you to see that taxing event in your life as an opportunity to trust and rest in the guiding hand of the One who cares for you the most. The One who has Himself suffered a most taxing event, the death of His Son on a Roman cross. The Son who suffered Himself to be physically taxed, greatly, because of the glory that it would bring, our salvation, and the fulfillment of His Father’s ultimate purpose. (Read from “Eternity to Here” by Frank Viola, for a great picture of this purpose)   

“who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…..”  Hebrews 12:2

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Responses

  1. Lawrence, this was so very encouraging to read… Thank you for sharing it. I can relate to many of the things you described, even though in other ways, my life, and my relationship with my earthly father, was very different. I do know about filters, about having other human beings who exist as intermediaries between oneself and God, and what it feels like to be released from that, and to finally, as you put it, “owe no allegiance to anyone’s ideas, thoughts, interpretations”…

    May we all lean into those “taxing” situations, and learn to trust that God does have good and right purposes for them. May we all learn to not put anything, or anyone, before our own relationship with the Father. Thx again for sharing…

  2. BLD,

    I weep and rejoice with you. The beauty of this is not only did he leave you worldy wisdom but also with a spiritual heritage that I see you eager to pass on in your kids.

  3. Hey Brother Daniel,

    Yea man, I’m just trying to be faithful to the purpose and aim of this site. Whenever I think it will be edifying, I will be as honest and transparent as possible. Thanks for acknowledging the impact of this post.

  4. Yo Big L,

    Thanks man. You know what’s funny? I only weep now in those precious moments with the children. For instance, when I sit in the park with my wife and watch the kids play on the “monkey” bars. I sit and think to myself, “Man, Pops would have gotten such a kick out of this!”. Or when my 8 year old son gets an award at school. I think of how proud he would be of him.

    I pray (and please pray with me) that I can impact my children for Christ as much or even more than my dad impacted me.

  5. this, my friend, is the realest thing you ever wrote…thats all i can say..

  6. Very moving… thanks for sharing.

  7. I’m a father…and I’ve got a long way to go. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Brother DJenk,

    Thanks for the encouragement brother. By the way, send me your contact info again please. We haven’t talked in a while and I have missplaced your numbers. Hit me at lawrencedacus@aol.com.

  9. Welcome Brother Barry. Please feel free to stop by often and add your insight.

  10. Yo Brother Cushie,

    Is this my brother from over at P.P.? What’s happening man? Hit me at lawrencedacus@aol.com and shoot me your information so we can chat it up homie! (Did you notice I said “hit me” and “shoot me” in the same sentence? What’s my problem? LOL!)


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