This Sunday is Fathers’ Day. My father died seven years ago. I think in some ways it’s harder to lose a parent as an adult than as a child. When I lost my mother as a teenager I wasn’t really sure how to react so I just continued with everyday living. Of course I missed her and mourned in my own way, but I don’t think I realized the full impact of the loss. Losing my father as an adult I understood just how much I’d lost – not just a parent, but an advisor, a mentor, a leader, a teacher and a friend. He wasn’t a demonstrative man. We weren’t a “touchy/feely” family and I don’t recall hearing the words, “I love you” very much. It was a different time. My father worked hard; there was always food on the table, always clothes to wear and shoes on our feet. There was enough money to take family vacations and build memories that last a lifetime and somehow I knew he loved me even if it wasn’t expressed in words. Seven years later I still miss him.
When special days of recognition like Mothers’ Day or Fathers’ Day roll around I believe there’s a large number of people who may dread going to church that morning. This Sunday fathers will be singled out of the congregation. I realize it’s important to recognize fathers (and mothers) and the importance of their roll in the family. There are a lot of wonderful fathers out there and when I watch my husband with his children I realize he is one of them. I don’t begrudge fathers their well-deserved recognition in church one Sunday a year, but what about the rest of us sitting in the pews this Sunday morning? The reminder of what’s lost or for some people what never was, always brings a needle-like stab in the heart.
As you celebrate this Fathers’ Day may I ask you to take a few minutes to think about the children, now adults who were abandoned. How do they feel? Consider those who suffered abuse and don’t have happy memories of their father. How do they feel this Sunday morning? Think of the person who has just lost their father and whose heart is still raw with grief or the couple who grieve because they aren’t able to have children and be parents. I encourage you to celebrate with your families, celebrate your fathers and please take time to say a prayer and reach out to those who may be struggling on this day of recognition. Let's remember we all have a heavenly Father who loves us so very, very much.
Happy Fathers’ Day