In Search Of The Father
(An article for the June 1995 Deep Cove Crier)As Fatherís Day 1995 approaches, I am reminded afresh of how each of our hearts yearn for the Father. In this fatherless age, when many children are raised without a dad, the hunger for the Father seems to be increasing, rather than decreasing. The word orphan comes from the Greek word orphanos, which literally means to be fatherless or bereaved. A fatherless generation is a bereaved generation. Many of us have a seemingly bottomless grief within our hearts that even puzzles us. Fatherís Day reminds us that our grief may be that of an orphan, a son or daughter longing for their Father.
The Forgotten Father...
Recently I had the privilege of attending a sold-out play at the Burnaby South Theatre, entitled FATHERíS HOUSE. This local play, written by Brian Doerksen, has been such a phenomenal success that the songs have been made into a cassette tape, that is receiving rave reviews all around the world. The play begins with 20 year-old Anthony who is approached by a curious old woman named Nellie in a crowded Saturday morning mall. Despite her whimsical ways, she catches Anthonyís interest by handing him a card with his name on it. Nellie claims that she has a message from his Father. But Anthony is very cynical about this, not having seen his Dad for years since his parentsí divorce. As he opens this strange card, he hears a song that captivates his imagination: "son, you are my treasure...son, love beyond measure...fills my heart for you, my son....."
The Unstoppable Quest...
When Anthony heard these words, hope and confusion began to build in his mind: " My father? No, my father would never send me a message like that. You must have the wrong guy." Yet Nellie in her whimsical way wouldnít give up. Instead she told a powerful story about a young girl living in a far away land who went on a Quest. Having been kicked out of her house by her drunken father, she will not let her dreams be crushed: "There must be a place where dreams come true...there must be a time when Iím free to fly..." Despite the continuing abuse and betrayal that she experienced throughout her Quest, she kept searching, until one day she met the Father. Most memorably, the Father sung to her: "my daughter...I see the pain in your eyes...longing to be loved, longing to be free...alone in your room, I see your tears falling again...so let Me hold you close, here in My arms you will find rest..."
Knowing the Fatherís Heart...
This Fatherís Day it is my desire that each of us in the Seymour/Deep Cove community come to know that the Father loves each of us unconditionally and totally. The play finishes with the healing of the sense of being fatherless, of being spiritual orphans: "As I listen to Your voice, the blessing surround me...I know Iím Yours, Iím so glad You found me...I was an orphan, You adopted me." May each of us this Fatherís Day know the Fatherís love, the Fatherís arms, and the Fatherís heart.
The Rev. Ed Hird
Rector, St. Simonís Anglican Church
P.S. The Cassette Tape of FATHERíS HOUSE can be ordered from the Sign of the Fish Bookstore (985-3815).
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St. Simon's Anglican Church
North Vancouver, B.C.