My Dad

My dad wasn’t a big roll model in my life. For the most part he was absent. When he was present, he was more of a buddy than a dad or even a father. Until today, I’ve been able to accept him has a friend but the mere thought of him as my father brought a flood of anger and frustration.

He’s apologized before and I’ve forgiven him, but in some way he continues to not be my dad and it’s hard to get past.

Then there’s God. I trust God because I believe he exists and is vastly different from the people we know on this earth but there are many times, as I’ve told friends, when it’s hard to grasp God as a father because of the experiences I’ve had with my father. It’s hard to totally trust and love him but over time I’ve been able to see that he is faithful regardless of what I think or feel.

Well now my dad has cancer and with certainty, he will die.

We’ve grown a little closer, the kind of close that happens because someone’s going to die but there’s still a hole there in my heart where a real father might have been. I have compassion and empathy but there’s a disconnect. We talk more, he shares a lot more with me, and it appears we have more in common that I could have imagined, but I lay my head down at night and don’t think about it as I imagine a son from a normal father/son relationship would care and worry.

Which brings me back to my thoughts about God, the father. Maybe there are some things I have wrong about him too. This Father will live forever and I have all the time in my life to learn about him, but in what way do I think wrongly of Him NOW? I know he loves me but there’s still a certain disconnect with him too. Maybe there are some things that would shock me if I found out. Not bad stuff, but stuff like how he really loves me and cares for me despite that I feel unloved and abandoned at times.

Today I had a moment of clarity and thought about the God I know from the bible and how he dealt with his children throughout history.

Adam who brought sin to all of civilization yet God didn’t leave him and still provided for him. He thought of Abraham as his friend but Abraham revealed to God that he couldn’t trust God to fulfill his promises to him to the point where he had two wives and two concubines and 13 children with them all(talk about dysfunctional!). Jacob, the deceiver, lied his way through life yet God renamed him Israel, the name used to define the whole family. Moses who killed a man but God still used him to rescue his entire family and thought of him as a friend too. Paul who was killing those who followed Christ, God’s son, yet God used him to not only spread the message of Jesus Christ but to write most of the testament written after the birth of Christ.

Anyway, this isn’t another sappy story about God being my REAL father and I should be satisfied with that. It’s about ME continuing to forgive and pursuing my dad like God pursues his children. I love my dad regardless of how he makes me feel. I will continue to do the best I can as a son and hopefully when it’s all said and done, my dad will see that, I will have no regrets and God might tell me I did a pretty good job.

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