You just knew it was going to be a good day whenever he sang in the shower.
As he was growing up, from the time he was old enough to take a shower on his own, he was singing.
Contemporary ballads, light rock, classic Christian hymns, contemporary Christian, top 10.
If he heard a song he liked, he learned how to sing it almost immediately.
That crystal talent extended itself to his attempts at playing instruments--alto sax, piano, guitar. He would hear a song he liked, memorize the exact key, find a single resonating chord, and then painstakingly search for accompanying chords until, amazingly, he could recreate the song at will.
He was our son, and so we took much of that observable behavior for granted.
In retrospect, his efforts bordered on musical genius.
But he never flaunted his talent. On the contrary, he would often thank God for the special gift. Mother would frequently tell him to not put a bushel over his talents. She encouraged him, instead, to find a way to give back.
In high school and later at the university, he formed Christian groups that witnessed by way of music to hundreds, maybe thousands, of students, faculty and administration, families, and friends. He and his group may very well have been instrumental in restoring wayward hearts to Christ.
We won't know this side of heaven what impact our actions may have had on others. The chronicling nevertheless goes on...
There were times he admittedly didn't understand why he had such a passion for music. There were even times when he honestly felt burnt out on the whole scene.
Still, he had this compulsion. Like there was a personal guardian angel playing on his harp and puppeteering my son to make music.
I've not always been a good example to him. In fact, there were many times when I loused the whole fatherly example-setting responsibility up.
Still, I've had my moments. And like a son who refuses to give up until he masters the song, this stubborn fool refuses to give up until he masters the fathering.
Because, the truth be told, my heart has been touched and mended and shown the way home via Ryan's ministry of music.
Like I said, I've had my moments. The writing of this post is one of them.
God bless you, Ryan. May you have thousands of days on this earth and thousands of years in eternity of singing in the shower.