Old wounds heal slow sometimes.
It took me 30 years to realize my earthly father had never really been a father to me. Though I prayed and cried much and received healing, the “loss” of my father could not be mourned in one day.
Our fathers are supposed to love, guide and protect us. For me that was not the case.
I look over photos of families and dads from yesterday and my heart breaks a little for what I missed out on. Instead of images of love I recall scenes of drama and violence.
“I can choose to see him as a child of God instead of an evil man.”
Father’s Day isn’t normally hard for me because I just don’t pay much attention to it.
I grew up celebrating my mother that day because she did everything for us and so I was taught that she should get honor on Father’s Day. It was just deflecting.
No one wanted to talk about my father or the hurt that surrounded the topic of his absence.
I tried to call him yesterday. Thought it was the decent thing to do. On the other end I heard the tone for a disconnected phone. I haven’t heard from him in months, not since my brother in law passed and I saw my father at the funeral.
Everyone wanted to ignore him then too.
I couldn’t. He is a hurting human being after all and everyone should be extended comfort in a situation like that.
I had an opportunity to show the compassion I had never received from him. I sat next to him and held his aging hand. I did my best to calm everyone when he started showing out for attention. I couldn’t help but wonder if he wouldn’t seek it so much had we just shown the love he was so desperately craving.
But none of us knew how to love well as children and our parents weren’t in the position to teach us back then.
I know how to love today.
I know that I can honor my father even though, the morning after Father’s Day, I am suddenly in tears because I don’t have one.
I can choose to see him as a child of God instead of an evil man.
I can choose to hold sorrow in my heart momentarily instead of building a permanent mass of bitterness toward him.
I can share this with my brothers and sisters in Christ, and with the world and hope that you find strength for the same forgiveness if you have endured an absent or abusive father.
As Christ forgave and loved us, may we also forgive and love.