Father's Day is a really difficult day for me. It has been 20 years since I've seen my dad.....not by my choice, but by his. And, to make matters worse, I don't understand "why" he has chosen to deny me this relationship between father and daughter. We were never real close during my childhood, but I always knew he was there. He wasn't much of a talker or communicator, but he showed his love in little ways that let me know he cared. He sent cards on Easter, and Christmas, and he would talk when I called. Other than that, there wasn't that warm and fuzzy relationship that I longed for between the two of us. But, that's okay. I still had a father.
Twenty years ago, that changed, though. The last visit I had with my father was a wonderful one. He lives on a large farm by himself, and I brought my family to visit him. He showed us the dairy cattle, the fields of corn, and took us on a wonderful hayride. It was in September, and I can still smell the great fall air, and see the fields in the distance looking ready for harvest.
Following that trip, my dad put off phone calls....he said he was "too busy" to talk. He was always too busy doing farm work. My kids (his grandchildren) would call, but he was again too busy to talk. On four different occasions we made plans to go visit him -- an almost five hour drive away -- only to have him call very early in the morning to cancel the visit because he was "too busy" again.
The years passed, and now there has been no communication for several years. When holidays roll around, especially Father's Day, the pain hits again and reminds me that my grief is still very alive and very much present in my life. How I'd love to hear the wise words of a father, to see the caring eyes of a father, and to know the feeling of safety and security of being loved unconditionally by a father. It looks like that is never going to happen, though. Not with my earthly father.
How can I find a healing place? A place that feels good and right and that "fits" when the word father is mentioned? Actually, I've found it in my heavenly Father. He is the only Father I know, and when I think about it, He is the only Father I really and truly need.
Today as I sat in church, I heard person after person say, "Thank you, Dad. You've inspired me. You've always been there. You've taught me unconditional love. You never missed one of my soccer games. You taught me how to face tragedy."
I sat quietly on my seat in church, and said the same words. 'Thank you, Father. You've listened to me when I've needed a listening ear. You've been with me through my worst days, as well as my best. You've love me unconditionally, and you still do. You taught me about grace and forgiveness. You are always near. And, you are never, ever too busy!"
I've found my Healing Place in Him. Thank you, Father God.