Fathers and Sons: A Father’s Day daily devotion for Virginia Tech fans

Read Luke 3:1-22.

“And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased'” (v. 22).

Rashad “Rock” Carmichael grew up in a big, extended family that included what he called “mostly ladies,” but his father was always the one he turned to.

“My dad was everything to me,” Carmichael once said. “He was my mentor; he was the one who showed me the way. Man, I love him. He was the one who made me ‘Rock.'” Quite literally. When the senior Carmichael heard all those ladies calling his oldest son “Ra Ra,” he quickly put an end to that business, declaring the moniker to be too soft. His boy would be “Rock” from now on.

Carmichael was indeed solid as a rock for the Hokies. He was a starting cornerback in 2009 and 2010. He was named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week for his play in Tech’s 49-27 defeat of East Carolina on Sept. 18, 2010. He had two interceptions in the game, returning one 68 yards for a touchdown. His success at Tech was right in keeping with the plan his father and he had laid out. The only hitch was that Rock’s dad wasn’t around to see it.

In July 2008, 40-year-old Bernard Carmichael told his three boys that he didn’t expect to live much longer because of high blood pressure. A few days later, he called Rock at his apartment in Blacksburg for a routine chat that ended with the elder Carmichael’s words, “I’ll talk to you later.” “I don’t know why, but I just knew I wasn’t going to talk to him again,” Rock said.

He didn’t. An hour later, his dad died from a heart attack. Rock refused to answer the phone when his mom called, forcing her to contact Jason Worilds, Carmichael’s closest friend on the team. He delivered the awful news: Rock’s father was gone.

Contemporary society has seemed to develop the nasty habit of belittling and marginalizing fathers and their influence upon their sons. Men are perceived as necessary to effect pregnancy; after that, they can leave and everybody’s better off.

But we need only to look in two places to appreciate the enormity of that misconception. One is our nation’s jails, packed with males who lacked the influence of fathers in their lives as they grew up. The other is the Bible. God

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