jon-027
A few rambling thoughts out of father stuff
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Yesterday on veteran’s day my thoughts went to my dad who served in the air force and died when I was only ten years old. His death lead to a deep hole in my heart. This is a pic of me probably when I was 14 at his grave site with family members.

“father longings lead to Father longings” I wrote that years ago in reflection during the men’s group I lead.

“The deepest search in life, the thing that in one way or another is central to all living is man’s search to find a father, not merely the father of his flesh, not merely the lost father of his youth, but the image of strength and wisdom external to his need and superior to his hunger, to which the belief and power of his own life could be united.” Tom Wolfe

May our father stuff draw us deeper to meet the True Father and may we trust in His fathering us along the way.
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The Moon and the Son

In a short film with the above title, an adult son deals with his internal conflict with his feelings about his father. In the end he explains ” I made you the man on the moon: far enough so you can’t hurt me- bright enough so I could never forget you”. A very real analogy of how we distance ourselves from our fathers who hurt us, yet are so emeshed in our spirit with him.

I have been noticing my own detachment mechanism in my dynamics with my daughter. There are times I want to check out (usually when she has a tantrum or its been a very long day with a lot of ‘daddy, whys’). After discussing our fathers’ absence in group and on this blog, I need to confess my own struggle of being present. I realize it is an inherited trait that I worked on to change for a long time in friendships and marriage, but it resurrects in my relationship with my daughter. I am involved in so many ways with her, as I truly want to be. But in my weakness I remove myself emotionally. It seems God faithfully uses the important things in my life to push me toward repentance and a deeper work of Him to shape me.

To be a good father, it truly is an act of the grace of God.

Continue in me O Lord. I need you.

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I thought I would write about something that came to me as I was driving to see a friend and thinking about the exercise regarding the father introduction. I was thinking about how the other side of the coin is regarding my longing for approval and recognition that springs forth from my father wound. Let me explain a bit more. I was talking last night about how we are marked by our fathers and how we can pass on the wound as we are wounded ourselves. I gave an example of one acting out of that wound. Yet in our prayer time, I sensed God wanting to give us a vision of the beauty that comes out of that redeemed wound. Today I realized a piece of that beauty from my own father wound.
I wrote on a recent facebook post “Got a email from a Professor at Talbot who wants to support me in promoting Resisting Grace. I was so touched.” One stream of interactions out of that went:

Why are you touched?
I take it as a honor that he would back me up.
He should take it as an honor that you contacted him.
thanks dude. I know you love me. :=)
Your a great man..I am not sure if you know it

As I thought about it some I realized that my growing appreciation and emotional warmth toward others who express affirmation, small or large, comes out of a redeemed wound. The longing use to drive me and I would be ashamed of my “neediness” for affirmation, like a hungry child. But what that has turned out to be as God worked in me grace, is a response where I am moved greatly by others response to me. I am no longer clingy like a child (as Paul says I put away such childish things) but neither do I take those things for granted and brush off compliments.

When reviews came in regarding Resisting Grace, my eyes watered several times. One because my words touched others. Two others expressed appreciation and affirmed me.
For me the beauty in my fathers wound is I can feel more freely without shame or neediness. I am able to feel touches and respond back with a touch. The such a loss as the death of my father when I was ten caused a forging that brew out of brokenness. It is strength in tenderness. It is power made perfect in weakness.

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