Stability of the Fatherís Hand
(An article for the June 1994 Deep Cove Crier) When I think of Fathers Day, I feel really grateful that I have developed a relationship with my Dad while he is still here on earth. So many people that I have counseled are filled with regret over the relationship they might have had with their father, but now their father is dead and gone. Mother's Day is relatively easy for most people to celebrate. Father's Day is often filled with much more ambivalence and ambiguity. So many of us are the product of a fatherless generation, either literally or emotionally. There is a longing in many of us to connect with the father's heart.
I have not always felt that I have understood my father. But now that I have known my father for almost 40 years, I feel that I am coming to understand and appreciate him at a much deeper level than ever before. What I particularly value about my father is his gift of stability. My father is "a rock". This Father's Day I thank God for my father's basic reliability and trustworthiness. As I have worked with people over the years, I have noticed how difficult it is for many people to stick to their promises and good intentions. When my father says that he is going to do something, he always comes through. So many people promise you things, but they make you wait so long that by the time they do it, you just feel frustrated. My father is remarkably gifted at fixing anything that breaks. He actually enjoys doing it for you, and then he will often thank you afterwards for letting him help you. In so many practical ways, my father exhibits a generosity of spirit.
Rocks and Fortresses
Many people I have known are enthused one day and despairing the next. Part of my father's stability is that he doesn't let things get him down. He has faced times of real adversity and setback in his life, but he has never let that stop him. He just seems to bounce back, and keep working on his goals and directions. His very stability encourages me to believe that I too can accomplish my goals in life. In so many ways, my father models for me the stability and constancy of God the Father. It is not by accident that the bible describes God as "a rock, a fortress, in whom I take refuge." Because my father's dad was an atheist until his late 80's, my dad always treated "religion" with caution. When I and my younger sister met Jesus in 1972, my father figured that we were just going through a phase. If so, it's been a 22-year phase and counting! The interesting thing is that my cautious, stable father, after many years of assessing, watching, and thinking, eventually allowed God to be his rock and fortress as well. My father, the stable one, allowed the Father of all stability to bring eternal stability into his life. My prayer for any fathers reading this article is that in these unstable times they may experience the security and stability of the Fatherís hand.
Reverend Ed Hird,
Rector St. Simonís Anglican Church
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St. Simon's Anglican Church
North Vancouver, B.C.