Finding myself thinking of those of us who have mixed feelings about Father's Day. Perhaps for one reason or another we physically did not and do not have a dad. Who for one reason or another feel pain on this day perhaps even as that might be mixed with some gratefulness.
Feeling for those of us who avoid the card counters, and dislike seeing the cards that describe a person and emotions that... are so totally alien to us and we quickly pass over them to find a card that somehow redeems something to be grateful for from the tangled mess of what it was. We do the work of "being good" and "doing the right thing" and blessing our father anyway.
And we want to be able to be authentic about all that the day is and yet to be that we fear that we will drag down those who have unmixed feelings of joy and happiness, who can celebrate the ideal.
I'm feeling sad for those of us who feel anger and resentment. Perhaps even in those dark shots of emotion that we feel a bit ashamed of and so we quickly move on to "what it should be." And so we remind ourselves of all the worthy and useful reminder of what it does to us to "be stuck." We do the good work of pulling ourselves out of that dangerous place of painful anger and sadness and resentment and gather if we can what there is to be grateful for.
I think of those of us who stumbled and fell as a dad and were able to right ourselves and become a value in our kid's lives. Without a model we to our credit created the beautiful thing that is being a father with flaws and gifts and thus have enriched our children's lives and live in the warmth of the back and forth now of the friendship of adults.
I honor the tears that will be either shed or unshed today. The tears of gratefulness and enjoyment of the love and relationship of great fathers.
I honor the tears of anger and depth of loss in having learned from others what the richness of having a father can be and the quixotic stab that that can be in our soul.
Well, what I wish for today is that we are a community of friends that as we celebrate are willing to be with all the parts that are a celebration; The unvarnished mixture that being a human brings to each of good and bad.
In a sense the best way to celebrate and honor fathers is to be willing to be authentically with all that being a human father can be. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
But then behind this human experience looking at that mixture of mucky clay and vibrant gold is safely contained within what it is to be loved by God. There I can pin all of my yearnings and desire for a Father. All of my loss and hurts. I can become a little one defended and protected and affirmed and thus experience fatherness in tenderness and boldness.
My prayer for you and me today is to be living in a sense of safe and empowering love. The love that affirmingly creates and is creating who we were made to be.