The author wished to remain anonymous.
Yesterday, while shopping for groceries my attention was drawn to the card aisle. All of the Father’s Day signs were almost impossible to miss. As I walked down the aisle, I thought about my dad. I knew I was going to buy him a card this week, I just didn’t know when. I should get it today, so he has it by Father’s Day.
Tears formed in my eyes as I picked up and read the Father’s Day card I wished I could buy my dad. The words on the card were sweet and talked about a loving father and daughter relationship. I can’t buy a father and daughter Father’s Day card because it would be a lie.
Growing up my dad abused me. He always use to tell me that he deserved respect simply because he was my father. I use to tell him that was false. There’s a difference between fathering a child and raising one in a loving home.
I had an incredibly twisted view of love growing up. Even though my home was dysfunctional, I craved love. I use to see other dad’s hug their children and my heart ached. I yearned to be held like that. Most nights I would cry myself to sleep wishing that I could have a hug.
I use to wonder what sort of satisfaction my dad received from beating me. Did it feel good to him? Was he looking for me to fight back? Did he like to see his own child suffer so? What kind of father could bare to make their own child bleed? What kind of father could give his child so many bruises she couldn’t sit down on the school bus? What kind of father could smash his child’s head into a tile wall? What kind of father could throw his child half way across the room? What kind of father could touch his child inappropriately? What kind of father would try to suffocate her?
A sick father. A broken father. A confused father.
The truth is God came to save my father. And God the Father would have sent His Son into the world, if my dad was the only person on earth. That’s how much He loves him.
I once saw a psychologist who challenged me to forgive my dad. At first I thought he was crazy, but over time I learned he was right. My father deserves forgiveness, because that’s what God is. He is forgiveness and mercy Itself. And that’s what I’m called to be too. I’m called to be His hands and feet. It’s my hope and prayer that my father can see a glimmer of the Father’s love in me.
What my dad did was evil, but he is still forgiven. I’m not excusing abuse because it’s wrong. But those who have abused us, are often the ones who crave love more than we do. So yesterday I bought my father a Father’s Day card and as I sat down to write it I decided that I would pick one positive trait that my dad has and tell him about it. I would only focus on the good.
I want to challenge you to buy your dad a Father’s day card and mail it to him or give it to him this Sunday. No matter what he has done, everyone has one positive trait. Maybe it’s his smile, or that he provided financially for you? Maybe he taught you a sport that you love, or taught you to drive?
Is that hard to do? Of course it is. But I promise you that living a life of resentment and anger is more of a challenge. I mailed my Father’s Day card to my dad this morning.
So the real question is – do any of us deserve God’s love? The truth is we don’t, but He gives it to us anyway. That’s what we are called to do. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. – C.S. Lewis
P.S. You are enough.