Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day???

What does 'Happy Father's Day' really even mean?  We say it just as we say "Happy Birthday" or "Merry Christmas" and.....we know what the intent is when we express it but....what does our vocalization really do and does it make a difference for those we wish it to?

I have friends (single and married) who feel more alone on holidays such as Mother's and Father's Day.  They recognize that they don't have those longed-for blessings in their lives either by the death of their own parents or the lack of their own chance to parent ....or both.

We honor special occasions for those who have those blessings in their lives.  We honor the role of father and mother even if our own situations have been less than ideal.  We place the 'calling' of mother or father on a pedestal of sorts and....perhaps rightly so.  In our church we know that it's the greatest and highest calling one could have in this life.  And, many of us have longed for those righteous blessings in our lives.

I hope (and request) that we'll be more aware and mindful of those around us who do not have those same kinds of blessings that they've desired.  Perhaps we could be more sensitive about the things we say on a day like today.

My own daughter has come home from church on more than one occasion in tears.  She's not had some of the things she's longed-for most in life including an 'in tact' family with a father at the head.  Well-meaning friends and teachers have expressed their love for their fathers and have said such things as 'I have the best Dad in the world' or 'My Dad is #1'.  Or....'let's write 'Father's Day Cards' and "you can write one to the Bishop if you want". 

Other friends opt out of church today instead of putting themselves in the middle of feeling worse than they already do.  I understand their feelings as I've had some of those myself on particular occasions when I felt more alone in a crowd of married couples than I would have liked to be.

So, in an attempt to soften-the-blow for those who don't have a Father in their lives either as a Dad or a companion - or who have experienced abuse and neglect by the one in that role - may I suggest we consider them and offer up prayers in their behalf?  And, may we also include in those prayers the men who would be Dad's but haven't had that blessing either.  We may never know the depth of their longings or sorrows if we haven't experienced it ourselves.