Father

Few words carry as much weight
To some, warm feelings of affection and gratitude
Tender memories of playing catch & life lessons you never knew you needed
To others, affliction and longing
A relationship you never had, or one that you wish you could erase

It’s a mantle too heavy to carry alone
A yoke that can’t fully be lifted
Protection, provision, direction – ‘manliness’
All convoluted expectations from within and from without a culture that doesn’t know father

We imagine Mufasa, Atticus Finch, Sandy Cohen, or God himself
But we get humans figuring it out
A flawed fraternity
A cocktail of testosterone and benevolence

So our unmet images manifest mocking caricatures
The Homer Simpsons, Peter Griffins, the Al Bundy,’s
Some deserving, some not.

But inspiration is always more transformative than critique
Aspiration more valuable than defeat
Hope victorious over all that’s bleak

So this Father’s Day we proclaim
To the fatherless
or father wounded
To the father-rich
or father-called

Let us honor the pain of all those limping
AND reverently cherish the love of all those who carry the title

To all those who father
Thank you, don’t give up or give in
Keep loving with fierce tenderness in a way that reflects one of the Divine’s faces

Because fatherhood is a holy order
Not for the faint of heart
But open to all willing to walk the path of love on behalf and alongside emerging souls
That they would know the love of an Abba

—-

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