As we celebrate Father’s Day today, I am quickly reminded that not everyone looks forward to this holiday. As I read through my friends’ Facebook posts, I realized there was much hurt and pain associated with this day.
One of my good friends from college lost his father five days ago. It was a sudden and unexpected death. When I saw my friend post this tragic news, my heart felt heavy as I grieved for his loss.
Another close friend from college did not get to spend Father’s Day with his two little girls today. It was his first Father’s Day in seven years that he would be alone. He had made some terrible choices in the last year that cost him his marriage to his high school sweetheart, his girls, and his reputation.
My husband grew up with a father who was physically and verbally abusive. Until these last couple of months, my husband had not spoken to his father in over 14 years. And, while they are slowly starting to patch up their broken relationship, I know there are many scars that run deep in my husband’s heart.
I think about my own relationship with my father. I have always felt more connected to him than my mother, and admire many things he has accomplished in his life. Growing up, I always wanted to please him and seek his approval. I wanted so badly to make him proud in every aspect of my life. But, it was rare to hear words of praise and encouragement, and I know I have disappointed him time and time again. I have often found myself envious of other friends who have a much closer relationship with their fathers.
As I was reading my friends’ post and feeling sad for their individual situations, I was gently reminded of a Father who is always with us, who will never hurt us, who will forever speak truth and love into our lives. A Father who longs to have a close relationship with us and who heals the pain and scars, no matter how deep. A Father who fashioned us in His own image and who calls us His own.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
Loving Creator, I lift up to you all those who are grieving and saddened by the loss of their fathers…both physical and relational. Comfort them in this time and heal their brokenness. I also lift up to you all of the wonderful fathers in this world—whether they are biological, adoptive, step, foster, friend or mentor, We give thanks in knowing you are our Heavenly Father and we are your precious treasures. Amen.