I said something the other day that echoed back in my head in my father’s voice. I used the phrase:

“Friends, family and strangers off the street.”

My dad used to say it about every event our church had, he’d tell everyone to invite “friends, family and strangers off the street.” I have no idea where the saying came from, or if he made it up. No matter where is actually came from, the message was clear: Everyone is welcome. Everyone is invited. No matter who they are.

That’s an excellent example coming from a pastor/Christian/father/human being. It was more than just words, it was picking people up for church, opening our home or sharing a break at work.

I can’t count the number of people that throughout my childhood found a safe place in our home and family when they needed it. Whether they were there for only a meal or for years.

When I found myself using my father’s words it was a little reminder that everyone deserves to be loved and included.

I have all sorts of drafts in my queue that I considered posting, then something made me want to write about my dad today. I’m afraid that someday I might run out of stories, memories and lessons from him to write about, but I suspect it’ll take awhile before that happens.

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