I started to see. . . who my father is instead of who – he’s not!
To begin with, today is Fathers Day. This year I am a very different person than I was last year. This is one of the first Fathers day that I honestly couldn’t wait to call my dad and say, “Happy Father’s day”. You see, for so many years… well for most of my life, I have had some pretty lofty expectations of my father. I’m sure they came from the movies and various other media sources. The world portrays fathers . . . good fathers one way and bad fathers another way. Like most dads, my dad didn’t meet the movie star quality of a dad often projected on the big screen. So, for most of my life, I have viewed my father as an imperfect father. This year, without saying a word to him, I embarked on a new adventure- to find out who my father is and why. My goal has been to hear his past and his present and to learn exactly who the man is and why, to actively listen to his words. And so, when I called, I began to ask him questions about him. I started to explore who the man is and instead of holding my breath and wishing for the call to be over (as I had in the past), I instead embraced the opportunity to learn. I started to see the calls as an opportunity to get to know who my father is instead of who he’s not.
Let me back up. Clearly, I haven’t had the best relationship with my father. Largely because I was close to my mother and I heard her heart and, well, I had my judgement in place, and, he was deemed, “Wanting!” (‘Mene, Mene, TEKEL, UPHARSIN’– translation: The hand writing was on the wall and it said, “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting!” That’s found in Daniel 5:25-27). You’ve heard me mention it in the past. Anyway, I had written my father off for a long time. Then, a strange thing happened; the thought crossed my mind, “What if you drop all expectations of your father and, instead of being angry all the time about ‘what you’re not getting,’ you give him what he wants!” That was a bizarre thought! I cautiously called my father and asked him if there was anything I could do for him? Anything he would like? He said, “I would love it if you would call me once in a while to just say hello.” Calling my dad has never been easy as he loves to talk about his sons and, apparently, this has created a resentment within me. This wouldn’t be a problem, as I too love my brothers and love to hear of their accomplishments, but it hurts because his conversations have always perseverated on them and it has always been painful. I knew that this wouldn’t be an easy request.
But I wanted to try to give him what he wants. He’s in his eighties and I would like to hear his voice too while I can! So I agreed.