We all pretty much knew Duncan was a shoe-in for our son’s first name, but the “Patrick” part might seem random, given my awesome Italian/Polish heritage and Caleb’s affinity for names starting with “R-I-D-D-I-C-K”. I am so proud to finally be able to share why we chose this middle name for our son.
Patrick is the dad of one of my very good friends. He and Caleb hit it off at a sports game that Mia and one of his grandkids were playing at, and they’ve been like cocaine and waffles ever since. It’s an odd matchup—no one ever quite understood why Patrick and Caleb could talk and talk and talk until they were blue in the face and dead, but it was a sweet friendship nonetheless and it worked. What started out as two dudes casually conversing on the sidelines of a soccer field gave way to an Obi-Wan/Luke Skywalker relationship. Patrick became sort of a mentor to Caleb, offering the kind of godly wisdom advice Caleb often needed when it came to work, managing money, and parenting.
Caleb and Patrick kept in touch through phone calls over the years, and on a particularly fateful day in our marriage, Caleb called him seeking out his voice of reason, and his counsel as a strong Christian. This man, Patrick, who answered his phone in the middle of a work project, stopped what he was doing and took four hours (or more) to convince Caleb not to make a choice that would’ve negatively affected every aspect of his life and our family. “You either believe what the Bible says about marriage or you do not. You either obey God or you willfully disobey Him. I’m not getting off of this phone until you agree to stay and work on your marriage,” were the resolute words Patrick used, as he unflinchingly told Caleb what he needed to hear (vs what he wanted to hear.) Patrick was literally the rock that blocked Caleb from going down a very bad path.
And so, Caleb stayed.
Even when our road got rockier, and he had to sleep in his truck when I locked the doors on him at night, Caleb stayed. Even when I couldn’t stand the sight of him, he stayed. He talked to Patrick. And Patrick told him to stay the course.
Patrick gave him the name of a counselor who was able to further direct us in our struggles. We became friends again, and our bond as husband and wife grew more in six months than it had in eleven years.
Caleb talked and talked to Patrick. Patrick listened, taught, and encouraged with the intention of leading my husband (and consequently, the whole family) closer to Jesus.
Everyone needs someone like this.
Patrick is not Caleb’s dad, but he took the time and resolved to make an impact in a younger person’s life. The four hours he spent on the phone with my husband that day made a lifetime of difference to us and to our children, and to everyone around us who saw miraculous changes take place, Christians and non-Christians alike.
There wouldn’t be a Duncan without Patrick.
Y’all be Patrick to someone. Pour into that person. Be patient and steadfast when they are frustrated and itching to blow wherever the wind takes them that day. Be the example they don’t see anywhere else. Be a light in the darkness.
Be the loving hands and feet of Jesus to people who may or may not be able to return the favor one day; but who may surely praise God for the works He did through your obedience.
It is my hope that Caleb and I can provide this to all our kids.
Thank you Mr. Patrick, and thank you also Mrs. Patrick’s Wife, who must have gotten real tired of all my husband’s inconveniently-timed phone calls. We love your family so very much.