Monday, June 18, 2012
On Being Fatherless and Planting Mustard Seeds
Their fathers have not died but instead have abandoned their children both emotionally and physically. They have messed up so badly that they and their children struggle to have any kind of connection.
We all need fathers. My own father wasn't perfect while I was growing up. That is not the point. Children do not need perfect parents; in fact we all know there is no such animal.
My dad, now in his eighties, was always present in my life and in the lives of my three siblings, just as my husband is present every single day in the lives of our two sons. I knew he was giving his heart and soul into raising us, even if his efforts sometimes fell short in my eyes. I knew he loved me and he was doing the best he could.
It pains me to see children who do not grow up with such a privilege. It is hard not to avert my gaze from the sadness in their eyes. And yet, this is why being a Christian gives me such solace. Because we are children of God, because a Presence summoned us by name into being, because that Presence knit us into being, none of us is truly fatherless.
The Psalmist reminds us: "You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am wonderfully made."
Even if we grew up with fathers in our lives, we all have a need, a longing for the kind of immeasurable love that only the Eternal Father gives.
I pray that the longing I see in the faces of the fatherless can be satisfied by the understanding that each of them was lovingly planted here as a mustard seed. "It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”