My wife and enjoy different types of TV shows.

She loves good mysteries and the Hallmark channel. Stories with mostly happy endings. Murder, She Wrote and Magnum, PI reruns are regulars in our living room.

I love true-crime, the unexplained and the unknown. Unsolved Mysteries, X Files reruns and Stranger Things stream on my PC regularly

But — there are shows we both really enjoy. The Amazing Race being one of them.

Earlier this evening I was reminded of one of our favorite teams.

If you watched the show, you may remember father and son team, Mel and Mike. They were on for two different seasons. I remember watching both seasons and seeing this incredible love that Mel (dad) had for Mike (son). He was proud, but he wasn’t just proud. He rejoiced in his son and celebrated with him. It was one of the most pure father/son relationships I’d ever seen on TV.

It’s been a number of years since we watched those two seasons. I hadn’t thought about either of them until I happened to see an article online and it lead me down a small internet rabbit-hole. A rabbit-hole that lead me to a deeper understanding of the love Mel has for his son.

Mel (Dad) had been a Reverend. Back in the 80s he was a well respected ghostwriter and speech writer for nationally known televangelists.

And he was gay.

In the closet. Married.

He tried for years to ‘fix’ himself.

Can you imagine the shame he felt?

To be gay in the 80s was hard enough but to be an evangelical Christian as well? I cannot imagine anyone feeling more alone. Knowing that if the truth was exposed, he would most likely have been ostracized, abandoned by every friend. He would have been shunned. An outcast. Immediately unwelcome and unloved.

Fast forward a few decades. He’s on the Amazing Race with his son.

His gay son.

And I got it. It all of a sudden made sense.

Mel, first and foremost a father, wanted what every father wants for his son. He wanted to ensure his son never experienced the hurt and shame I can only imagine he experienced in the 80s and 90s.

So he chose to love his son fiercely. He chose to celebrate his son. And he chose to be proud of his son.

We could learn so much from that simple example.

May we love that fiercely. And we may know we are already loved that fiercely.