A Gift on Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, my three children gifted me a bird feeder in the shape of […]

This Father’s Day, my three children gifted me a bird feeder in the shape of a log cabin. Now, as they joyfully run amok in the playroom, I am reflecting on the gifts of fatherhood itself.

Fatherhood has taught me that children are actually verbs. Also, that Legos multiply through their own procreative process. Yesterday I found a baby Lego perched on my toothbrush. But I digress…

I became a father on October 25th, 2012. After our firstborn was cleaned off a bit, a process which he did not appreciate, he was remarkably composed. Especially when I considered his most recent ordeal. I looked at him and he looked at me. I remember thinking that, though only benefitting from the wisdom gleaned in a scant thirty minutes in this world, the boy was already judging me with mild suspicion. His look said that he was rather dubious that I had the credentials for this new fatherhood gig!

Of course, we project our anxieties onto others. This is another lesson of fatherhood.

I know that fatherhood is complicated. And I know that people have a wide-range of competing emotions around the third Sunday in June: grief, gratitude, regret, anger, pain, and joy. Perhaps all those swirling emotions are a part of the wild verb we call “love.” We are born into a complicated world with astoundingly flawed and holy relationships. There are many mysteries more painful than how a Lego came to reside on your toothbrush. We do not know because we cannot know everything.

So I think a lesson for us all is that we lack the credentials. We do not measure up. We make mistakes as parents and children and employees and employers and members of our families and families of faith.

I hope and pray that soon you have opportunity both to say and hear three holy little words: I love you. And I would offer a humbling and courageous verb as well: apologize. Consider it a Father’s Day gift to take full advantage of any blessed opportunities to say three other precious tiny words: I am sorry.

Remember, the good news is that it is precisely in our weakness that we find true strength. In becoming vulnerable, we demonstrate courage. Humility and laughter being the only constants sustaining beauty in a changing world, we discover and rediscover God’s promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”