My father, Eduardo Lamadrid was not a religious man, but he was a spiritual man. I loved the conversations we had about God. Over the years we would talk about what it means to be in relationship with God versus religion.
I remember one such conversation, decades ago, when he said to me, “I have a problem with God.” Then he went on to remind me about the story of how his father, Eufrasio Lamadrid, was killed when my father was only a teen.
My father grew up in Cuba, before Fidel Castro, with his eight siblings, Enrique, Emma, Eva, Victor, Cuca, Elisa, Ernesto and Elena. Much of their childhood was filled with wonderful memories of their close-knit family, tropical fruit and beautiful beaches. In my father’s teen years, he and his brothers worked at the family sugar mill.
One day, Eufrasio’s business partner asked him to come to a meeting he was having with a disgruntled mill worker. Eufrasio agreed to come and mediate. During the meeting a fight
broke out. The worker lunged at Eufrasio’s business partner with a knife and Eufrasio jumped in front of his partner to shield him. That day, Eufrasio died in that office.
This event changed the course of their lives. One by one, all of his children began to leave Cuba for the United States.
My father would say, “My father was my hero. Why would God let that happen?” We talked about forgiveness and how hard it can be to trust God when painful things happen in our
lives that we don’t understand. We prayed and left it at that.
Years went by and decades later my father said to me, “Coochie, I want you to know something; I’ve made peace with God.” He went on to tell me that things aren’t always as they seem.
He took on the big perspective, the 10,000-foot view perspective. I believe it was the God perspective. And near the end of his life he shared with me what he believed God was telling him.
He began to share how he believed that if his father were alive during the Castro takeover, not only his father, but he and his brothers could have/would have lost their lives defending their family, their home, their property and business as so many others had.
He looked at me and said, “I would never have come to the United States, joined the U. S. Air Force, and met your mother. You would never have been born.” He began to express to me how he saw a loving heavenly father who allowed in His wisdom, what He could have prevented with His power.
Maybe you don’t have a father who reflected the love of God in your life. I encourage you to look around. Look at your life. Who was there for you? You might be surprised to recognize a spiritual father or two. Celebrate them today.
This month I honor my grandfather Eufrasio Lamadrid, who instilled in his children the importance of family and my father, Eduardo, for reflecting the unconditional love of God to a daughter who dearly loved him. Thank you, Papa. You are loved and you are missed. Most importantly, I honor my heavenly father, who always has a plan and is working all things for our good.
Editor’s note: Gardenia Lamadrid Moffett, pastors with her husband Tom at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Sonoita, Arizona. She can be contacted at Gardeniamoffett@gmail.com