What feelings come up when you realize that Father’s Day is next Sunday? For me this day has always been for someone else. My dad died when I was twelve and before that I really didn’t know him very well. But I know I always wanted a dad who knew me, who smiled just because of me and who made decisions that were good for me and for my family.
What about you? What happens inside your heart when you think about your dad? What smells bring him to mind? Was it cigarette smoke on his clothes or alcohol on his breath? Perhaps the way his clothes smelled at the end of a workday, or his aftershave when he cleaned up.
What about his gaze? Did it include you? What was the look on his face when he talked to you? Did he see you? Did his look invite you in or did it push you away? What look is on your face when you think of him?
I have decided that I best remember my dad by being honest about him and to rest in the fact that he was who he was.. a good man who made some poor choices; choices that affected my family in big ways. I also know that the dad I had, led me to the Father I needed. His lack made me hungry for the real thing and made me interested in a dad who was wise; one who knew and wanted me, and one I could be proud of.
There is One who offers me a clear unconditional love with no baggage, no shame. I found this dad in God the Father and have given my life in response to the extravagant love he has given. I am no longer defined by the dad I had. I am now shaped and enabled by a God who knows and loves me still and who wants me to be fully me, the me he created and carefully led.
What a great way to celebrate Father’s Day! Let’s do that. Let’s be honest about our earthly dads and be thankful for what we can and then give that name totally over to God our perfect Father…to honor him for all he continues to be in our lives.
“For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:15 NLT
May we celebrate the fullness of Fatherhood in God our Father, the perfect, pure and holy One.