Romans 8:28 New Living Translation (NLT)

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

My father, William Otha Hopper, was a writer. He went by Otha. He taught English at the University of Alabama and had mastered his craft. My favorite writings of his are in my mint condition “Saturday Evening Post” magazines from the early 60’s. I have the last article he wrote for the local paper framed with a picture of him sitting in his old hand made rocking chair holding my 4 year old daughter in his lap. The article is about a baby girl he saw in Vaughn Medical in Selma, Alabama. It’s my proof my dad returned to his faith before he passed away…something I prayed almost 30 years for. My daughter is 26 now and my dad passed away in 2005. The point I’m trying to make is when I write I feel like Tom Brady’s son trying to throw a football, or like Wayne Gretzky’s playing hockey.

My earliest memories are of my father being up in the old cabin on the third terrace in front of our house. My mom would say, “You kids leave your dad alone. He’s in the cabin writing!” I would go slip in that cabin and watch him. A four year old rebel I was. When he discovered me he never got mad. In fact, he would call me over and give me a hug etc…then run me out of there! But I had gotten what I came for. I always knew my dad loved me and I always loved him. I think that is something everyone needs to know. The curious thing is I now LIVE in an old cabin in the same yard and I’m writing.

Switching gears a bit…I went to counseling at church once because I was going through such a stressful time. It’s what people do now, right? It was a “Sozo” they called it. It was a team of three men, but one did most of the talking. I will never forget that poor guy trying to get me to say I was angry at my father for some reason. It really seemed to frustrate him that I was not angry at my dad. My dad was the kindest man I ever knew. He finally got away from that approach, but never got on track at all. I’m sure the Sozo works great on other occasions but mine just was not to be. Just as well… I sucked it up and got through that “dark night of the soul” without any more of that young man’s misguided assistance. God bless him, but I loved my dad! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it because it’s true. And I miss the old fart! He was 85.

The good news is if your dad did not love you for some inexplicable, selfish reason you will find that God did and does and always will. You may ask, “yeah, but if God loved me then why did He allow me to have such a jackass for a dad?” Do yourself and specifically your faith a huge favor and learn to remove “why” from your vocabulary when it comes to God the Father. All things (really do) work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Besides, the command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil still stands. Just don’t eat from that tree. Just don’t ask why. Instead just try to get back to your place of peace with Him. It’s really not so difficult if you are willing to forgive those who trespass against you as God forgives you yours. I don’t know how and I don’t know when but if you will allow him to He will fix your “all things” and you will then know He loved you all along. You just didn’t know it…yet. My favorite song at church these days says, “He’s a good, good Father…that’s who He is. That’s who He is… And I’m loved by Him…That’s who I am. That’s who I am..” Thanks dad for making this easy to grasp. You were a good father as well and I will see you again. Love, Jr.

One thought on “W.O. Hopper – The Original

  1. A very nice bit of writing about relationships, being real, love, and learning how to be a better man because you had a great model. thanks for sharing…Carrie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *