Sunday, June 19, 2011
My Dad is the greatest because…
This is probably the hardest prompt I will respond to this year. I love my Dad. I really, really do. I have always struggled to make sense of my relationship with him and to make sense of his absence from my life. It has been (and—I’m sure—will continue to be) a most arduous journey.
In fact, for many years, I looked for other father figures to fill the void in my life. And what a blessing—that certain men made themselves available and fathered me as if I belonged to them! In this regard, I see God’s love most clearly—that someone could love a child who is not his natural daughter as if she were his very flesh and blood. That is what God does for us. Except there’s a greater mystery with God: somehow, He actually makes us His children. He makes us His heirs, His sons and daughters. It’s hard to understand, I think, but it’s really amazing. It’s a love greater than anything we know here on earth. And He doesn’t do it because we are something special; He does it because it is in His character to love us and to place value in us. Woah, eh? So having men from church, friends’ fathers, uncles, pastors, teachers who love me as if I belong to them really is a blessing to me. It has taught me that God loves me enough not only to make me His daughter, but to provide for me the example and the love that my own father has struggled to provide.
But I wouldn’t leave you thinking that my Dad means nothing to me. The truth is that the reason I have struggled so much with my father is because he means everything to me. He is the only Dad that is truly mine, and nothing—not anger, not resentment, not fighting, not pain, not fear—can change that. I am his daughter. He is my Dad. No other man in the whole course of history can take his place. With all of his flaws (with all of my flaws!), with all of his stubbornness (with all of my stubbornness!), with all of his quirks (with all of my quirks!), with all of his bad habits (with all of my bad habits!)…he belongs to me. That truly makes him the greatest.
All my love,