Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father, Where Art Thou?

What would you do if someone called your kid something their actions may just dictate them to be. Would you agree bashfully and apologize? Or would you deny the claim, and stand up for that kid? I would do the latter because I believe in my kids. Even if I am wrong, I am human. Even if I am wrong, I am a father who refuses to see the worst in his kids. I think that is what makes God so great. We may be what everyone says we are, but not to Him. To Him, we are perfect. He would and did defend with His own blood, just like we would. There is  nothing we wouldn't do for our children, and nothing He didn't do for His.

I have seen a lot of parents fight for their kids, when they are wrong. This may drive others crazy because everyone knows they are wrong, but I admire it because it is a picture of the Christ that puts Himself in our place. Two parents fight because one kid did something horrible to the other. The other parent defends out of pure ignorance of the situation...but because of the love that courses through their veins. When they get home and get the real story, the kid will be punished and maybe the kid will apologize, but in the moment when the other parent wants blood, they aren't gonna allow it. Because they shouldn't.

Christ allowed no blood but His own. He bleed for us, even as we are attacked, He takes the heat and is our only defense. But what a strong defense is perfection. No one can say a word to the perfect person in the room. Kids make parents do some pretty radical things. How about putting yourself on a cross after having your flesh torn off and asphyxiate yourself? This is the father we have. This is Christ, the object of our affection. The Son, The Father, The Holy Spirit that will and did bleed for His children.

I had a few father figures growing up, well maybe not that many, but I had one. I had Jim. He looked at me differently than many other grown men. Most saw me as a loud and obnoxious kid. He may have too, but he did something different for this bastard kid. He cared beyond what anyone would have asked of him. He was a dad to a kid that didn't know what that would look like and didn't know it then either until he had his own kids. I realized it for sure as a troubled teenager.

I was in legal trouble. I had gotten myself in a lot of trouble over several cities spanning several years. Jim Doederlein had three kids of his own to deal with, but this one day he took the day off of work. This was rare because he worked hard to keep his family in a home. He took me to every single court and paid my fines. He set me up to pay back this loan, not to get his money, but to teach me to pay back what has been given to me. I paid him back quickly because I didn't want to disappoint him. For the first time in my life, I was afraid of disappointing someone. For the first time, someone had some faith in me. I had always had a problem with calling a person dad because of what mine did to me, but if I were to call a guy dad, it would be Jim. He looked after me as God would have. He was a true picture of Christ to of the people that gave me hope along with Jo-Ann, his wife, my other mother. I think they were God's way of loving me in a way I could feel and hold on to.

My mother is another. She tried to be my father too. She tried to find men to be father figures whether it was my uncle or a dad to one of her day care kids that she respected... she tried really hard. But kids without dads easily blame their mothers for the absence of their fathers...because there is no other person they can fight with. She was nails, I will tell you that. She wasn't perfect as no one is, but she was as tough as they come. She loved me intensely and fought for my survival.

I sit and watch my kids play and hold them on my chest to feel their hearts beat next to mine and smile. I cannot believe the coward that runs from such a thing as a child's unconditional love. I cannot fathom the monster that lives inside of his flesh that would permiss him to flee...because what I hold in my arms is the very heart of God. I could have never walked away from that. That makes me grateful for the grace of God for saving me. It makes me glad that I was abandoned by my father. It makes me close my eyes and imagine what my Father in heaven was thinking when He sent the people He sent to make my life whole.

May God bless you this Father's Day, even if you haven't a father to celebrate. We have one who is far more important right next to us.


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Thanks for reading...Z