Diane Virginia: Finding Father
Tommy sat on the church steps, twirling a dandelion. The wind captured a cluster of seed parachutes, catapulting them into the air. Like the incomplete seed head, he felt his life had been breached.
As much as he wanted to tune out the voices he heard coming from inside the church, he could not. He knew the identity of every voice, and their words cut deep.
“I can’t take him,” Aunt Mabel shouted. “With the Great Depression, I can scarcely take care of my own.”
“It’s because he’s not a girl,” Uncle Derrell countered.
“Then you take him in,” Aunt Mabel retorted, “or can’t you handle another son? The good Lord only knows how much mischief your children have gotten into.”
“Mabel, that’s enough!” Uncle William said. “John, just because you’ve gotten remarried doesn’t mean you get to ditch the youngest. He’s your flesh and blood!”
“He will, because I’m going to take him.” The church doors creaked as Uncle William leaned into their massive frame. “C’mon, Tommy, let’s go home.”
Tommy’s dandelion scattered further. Some of the seed parachutes crushed underfoot as he and his new “father” exited. Having been abandoned by his birth father without so much as an apology and knowing his stepmother rejected him outright, could he trust Uncle William, whom he’d only seen at an occasional family gathering?
As Tommy clasped the hand of the one who held his future, his dandelion broke in two. Dropping the stem, he let go of everything he held dear, including his relationship with his birthfather.
Uncle William opened the car door. Tommy stepped in.
“Call me ‘Dad,’ okay? If this is going to work, you’ve got to recognize I’m your father now.”
Tommy looked back at the massive church doors. He wondered if God even existed.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.~Psalm 68:5 NKJV
A father to the fatherless. That’s who Uncle William became to Tommy, and he was a good one. Even so, the emotional scars that raged within this six-year-old boy were deep-set, and haunting memories affected him into adulthood. His well-being would depend upon his willingness to call upon the Father of all fathers.
Friend, does your earthly father have character flaws that make celebrating Father’s Day something you’d love to forget? No matter what kind of father you’ve had, your peace depends on two factors: your willingness to forgive your earthly father and your willingness to allow your heavenly Father to be your parent.
Forgiveness boils down to deciding. When we forgive our earthly fathers for how they’ve fallen short, freedom comes. They’ll know even if we don’t say the liberating words, “I forgive you,” by how we extend grace.
We don’t have to depend on our earthly fathers’ approval to know we are valuable in God’s sight. Acknowledging this turns the course of our lives in a positive direction.
You have a heavenly Father who loved you before you had a body, a name, or an earthly identity. You were in His thoughts before creation came into existence. And your reliable heavenly Father gives you a purpose for living.
Why do we experience the shattering pain of being rejected by a birth father? We live in a fallen world, so these losses happen. To have free will, God lets us make decisions. Sometimes people don’t exercise this free will wisely. Your heavenly Father cares for you always. Thus, He even brings substitute fathers, mothers, sisters, and friends to ease the pain of relational losses.
God sets the solitary in families.~Psalm 69:1a NKJV
Friend, on this Father’s Day, make it your goal to nestle into Daddy God’s arms of grace. It doesn’t matter whether you ever heard approving words from your father or anyone else; your heavenly Father shouts from Heaven’s gates, “I love you, child. You are Mine, as I am yours. I sent my Beloved Son to ensure you know how deep and wide My love is.” No matter your age or accomplishments, Father God wants to lavish His love on you.
Do you find comfort in knowing Father God loves you?
Father God, help me to absorb every ounce of love You want to impart to me. Thank You for being the best “daddy” I could ever hope for. I love you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Genre: Creative non-fiction; names and some details changed.
Copyright 2022: Finding Father: Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved
Published: June 2022: Inspire a Fire: Senior Editor Martin Wiles; Executive Editor Cindy Sproles