Local business donates shotguns to WUPD Senior Profile: Shannon Runyan Reds employees recognize Dr. King’s ‘Spirit of Service’ Saving Adams County’s power plants North Adams High School announces annual Science Fair Winners Board of Developmentally Disabled holds Jan. 11 swearing-in ceremony Peebles Elementary honors December Students of the Month Adams County villages receive Bike Racks and Fix-it Stations College Credit Plus Program available to high school students Wenstrup selected as Chairman of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health 2017 Manchester Homecoming is ‘Super’ Lions put damper on Manchester Homecoming West Union athletes honored by OSSCA Senior Profile: Story Kremin Bickett, Runyan lead Lady Dragons to victory in Manchester Indians improve to 8-3 with Saturday night rout of Portsmouth West Farm Bureau scholarships available to HS seniors Wilbur named to the Wilmington College Dean’s List Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES

Yes, I have a Father

This week I’m diverting from my usual hospice patient story to honor Father’s Day. And I’m personally stepping out; because some people, like “Doubting Thomas,”will never believe until they touch another’s wounds. (John 20:24-29)

I’ve never known my biological father. As a young boy, I longed for a father. The longing was so deep, so profound at times that I physically ached in my gut. I longed for a father to teach me, to believe in me and yes, even correct me. I longed for a father when grade school friends talked about what they did with their fathers over the weekend; and when I watched TV shows like “Father Knows Best” or “Leave it to Beaver.” I especially longed for a father during those dreaded, long, awkward walks across the football field on parent’s nights.

But there were men who, like an oasis in the desert, refreshed and encouraged me along my way. There was my uncle Don who walked the sidelines at my football games. I’d hear his voice above the crowd cheering me on. It didn’t matter if he was drunk; at least he was there; at least he was proud of me, he embraced me.

And there was Mr. Newberry, the father of my high school friend, Bill. Bill told me in study hall one day that his dad offered to pay for me to attend an expensive speed reading course. I asked Bill why and he replied, “Dad said he sees potential in you; that he sees you going to college some day.” College hadn’t entered my mind until that day. Mr. Newberry believed in and inspired me; and he gave me my only high school graduation present, a shirt that I wore until it became threadbare.

And there was Charlie. I worked for Charlie at his market from the sixth to the ninth grade. Charlie taught me how to work. As I proved myself he trusted me with increasing responsibilities. I thought I’d “arrived” when he allowed me to slice lunch meat behind the meat counter and work the cash register. And Charlie took me to Coney Island with his family. Charlie and his family included me.

And there was coach Pauley who pulled me aside in the tunnel of the old New Boston football stadium at halftime. He grabbed me by my shoulder pads as I was heading back to the field, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Loren, I know you can do better than that. I know what you’re capable of; now get out there and do it.” Coach Pauley challenged me.

You’d think that by the ripe old age of 30, married with a 5-year-old daughter, that I would have outgrown my longing for a father. It was about 30 years ago and I was going through some very trying times. I routinely started out each day at my old metal desk, in our dingy unfinished basement, praying and studying God’s word. That morning I prayed, “Lord, I don’t mean to whine and complain, but it sure would be nice to have a father to talk to about things from time to time.” God’s response was unexpected and immediate; that “still small voice” was loud and clear: “Who do you think it was who brought all those people your way? And I’ve given you my Spirit to lead you; and I’ve guided you by my word? You’ve gotten to know me in a way that some people never will. You’ve had me.”

I wept before my Father with praise and thanksgiving that morning; and since that day, Father’s Day has never been the same, and neither have I. The lyrics of the song, “I have a Maker,”express what I realized that day: “I have a Maker, He formed my heart. Before even time began my life was in his hand. He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls, and he hears me when I call. I have a Father, He calls me his own. He’ll never leave me no matter where I go…”

The daughter of one of our departed hospice patients once told me, “I feel like a 67-year-old orphan.” You see, we never outgrow the deep longing for a Father to talk to now and then. It’s scripted into our hearts and souls by our Maker. So if you’re longing for a Father to talk with now and then; I have some good news for you. There is a Father who knows your name, who knows your every thought, who hears you when you call, and who will never leave you no matter where you go.

“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD… Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God…” (Psalms 68:4-6, ESV) “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org or by phone at 740-356-2525.

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