Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lenten Series #29: My Earthly Father

Today in the office, I had a wonderful conversation with a student and a fellow staff member. It started off talking about taxes and me JOKING about needing a kid so that I could get some of those tax credits. The conversation somehow evolved into the realm of “family”.
I found my self disclosing some facts about my life, in particular about my father. I look at the beauty of children and can’t imagine how a father (not just mine) could leave his child. I  sometimes forget that I had a father, or a sperm-donator, because I have no record of him being in my life. I was raised in a single family home, father had another family so he did not want to have anything to do with me (actually denied me until a test was given in court). He paid child support until I was eighteen; lived in the same city, but not a word. I could have been riding the bus with him and would not have ever known. My mother never kept details away from me, and I know if I had pursued wanting to find my father she would have been supportive because she told me where he probably was. But I had no desire. 
 Nevertheless today, I sometimes wonder, what life would have been like if he had been around. I wonder sometimes about what lessons he would have taught me and what things he would have done for me. His name is Henry Parker; yeah I am putting him on blast! Hahaha.  If you know him, tell him that I said “Hi” and that God brought many people to fill the void he left in my life. And let "Pete" know (yes that is what they call him lol), God built Sherry with such an amazing backbone and spirit to raise me well. One day i hope to meet him, but until then I will continue to pray for him and his family and my bitterness.  LOL
The other staff member reminded us that every part of our family history is part of our personal journey. For me this journey has not been easy, but knowing that God has been there the entire time makes it all worth it. For me God has been Father.
Since being in seminary, I have come to appreciate what is known as “inclusive language’, seeing and referring to God in many ways beyond masculine pronouns.Sometimes people take the other extreme and utilize only feminine pronouns, which if is always done yields the same results, a limited God. Often I try to stay away from God has he or Father because we use it so much that it pigeonholes God from being more. But in the context of this particular blog, God had been Father to the Fatherless. And so with a deep sincere prayer, I cry out just as the ol’ Baptist deacons would line:
“Father, I stretch, my hands to thee, no other help I know, if thou withdraws thyself from me, O whether I shall go!”

I can then hear them moaning…
“ I came to Jesus, jus’ as I was, wearied, wounded, and sad, but I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad!”

My earthly father may have been pitiful, but God stepped in and turned my mourning into dancing! Blessed be The LORD!!

 Peace, Love, and Prosperity, 

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