"I believe in the love of God, it is an orphan's wildest dream, it is a Narrow Little Road, it is an ever widening desert stream" ~ Red Mountain hymn

"This narrow little road may be filled with both abundant joy and humiliating sorrow; surely, even its promised Divine acceptance cannot assure it's travelers absense of profound rejection. Indeed, this narrow road may be filled with a great many things, but the one thing it truly lacks is regret!" ~Debbie Sue



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Should all Fathers be honored?

To all the Fathers and Daddys...

On this day we choose to honor and celebrate you...
ALL of you...
neither for your perfection nor for all the physical things you've given us.

We honor you because your presence makes the world more beautifully whole and complete, and your list of imperfections and mistakes make the world a more real, dynamic and diverse place...

yes, YOU- even you- "THE ONE who can't seem to GET IT RIGHT..." the addict, the sperm donor, the adulterer, the overprotective, the uneducated, the passive, the sick, the judgemental, the irresponsible and undependable, the weak and broken... our world would not be the same with out you.

WE would not be the same without you!

Friends, the reality is... our society often crushes men's spirits. We easily alienate them with an impossible standard to live up to. We desperately heap piles of our lists of needs and expectations on them. We look at men and expect the next Jesus incarnate. We often honor them only for how well they meet this standard instead of embracing and learning from who they actually are; namely, broken image-bearers of an incorruptible God who are called to reflect Him in the midst of their hurt and humanity. Let me just encourage us with true and hopeful words...

reflection does not demand perfection.

If your father's life was broken and imperfect- even if he was a wretch to his core...

Do you know that you still learned more than you could ever imagine from him- from his personhood and from both his voluntary and involuntary life lessons of what and what not to do?

We can't forget that the beauty AND the brokenness in those we love shapes who we have become; they do not oppose eachother like light and darkness, at least not in this life. Sure, broken people bear children and breed more brokenness; sin- in all its various forms- brings hurt, deceit, grief, and a perversion of God's best for us... but that doesn't diminish the wonder of this internal freedom we have- the freedom to choose to learn good hard lessons from those who've shaped us (either positively or negatively), AND to decide what traits we value most and want to hold onto or pass on, and which ones we don't.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that men shouldn't step up and live lives of honor and be everything that they believe they are capable of being. It's certainly not evil to imagine who someone could be and treat them according to their (or rather your) ideal potential; however, I must warn you, you will most likely be very disappointed in the end. It's not that our many stories of fatherly grief should be invalidated or minimized; in fact, our emotional health depends deeply on facing these realities with brutal honesty and courage. Indeed, we are right in desiring, encouraging, and celebrating men  who live lives of love, honor, faith, passion, joy, purity, protection, and self-control... but we must acknowledge that we are also wise to honor ALL men in our lives realizing that we too have become any list of virtues through a process of grace and humility that involves experiencing love and acceptance first for who we truly are and not for who we could or should become.

In turn, as we learn to accept this acceptance, it often inspires freedom in our souls.

With this in mind, we can honor those who have taught us who we want to be with their very lives. We won't be able to thank these men once they're gone; for who they were, and what they DID do, and how all of who they were taught us about the world and common threads within humanity, about ourselves, and about who we are capable of becoming- a mix of both their light and darkness.

So, to all the Fathers and Daddys out there...
We honor and celebrate you...
ALL of you...
For who you are or who you were, and for what you've taught us about our beautiful broken world...

And to my earthly father- who eventually lost his life in the fight against his own list of imperfections- you have made a remarkable impact on my soul and who I have become. I love you and value both your beauty and your broken humanity. Yes, I'm even thankful for the hurts, habits and mistakes that we both carried in my childhood- all of which have made me more beautifully broken and imperfectly strong, honest, compassionate, resilient, and full of love, joy and adventure.

Dad, I will always love diverse culture and traveling, sports and recreational activities, certain unhealthy chemicals, and of coarse fine oldies music because of you!

Happy Father's Day  

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