If i had to give it a shape, it would a parabola.
He is a complex fellow, and yet not. Even in that statement there is evident a dichotomy, almost a polarity, that is difficult to reconcile. He is constantly surprising me, sometimes with insensitivity and sometimes with wit, sometimes with fury and sometimes with understanding. He can be both the most hard-headed and opinionated man i have ever met, and the most forgiving and reasonable one, and sometimes within the same five minute span.
i remember fearing him when i was young. He was the authority, the disciplinarian. i always hoped that my misdeeds would be punishable by my mother. i knew that if she deferred to his opinion, i was in it deep. He was difficult even then, at times: in possession of the most brilliant intellect i knew and yet when the temper would fly ration was the last thing on his mind. And boy, did i know how to provoke that temper.
Our relationship soured throughout my years in high school, though i see now it was almost entirely on my end. The more independent i got, the more i thought i had it all figured out, and advice from him began to mean less and less. It wasn’t long before the bottom of the parabola arrived, shortly after high school: the most horrifying moment in the history of my immediate family was when my father and i decided to get into a fist fight in front of my mother who was screaming for us to stop.
For a time, i did not see him much after that.
Yet still, when the darkest times of my life arrived, i see that he never left my side. No matter how much i attempted to infuriate him, he loved me fiercely and powerfully and wonderfully and never gave up on me, never stopped hoping for me, and most importantly never stopped praying for me. He has been there for me through legal troubles, jail, addiction, mistake after mistake, even the most severe ones of my life. He has always supported me, and for that i am extraordinarily grateful.
The parabola arcs high, ever so high now. Our relationship, i believe, is stronger than it has ever been, and this would not be the case had he not been the father he is. i truly wish that everyone could have had a father like him. He is not a perfect man, by any means, nor would he claim to be. He has faults, he has failures, he has idiosyncrasies and prejudices and sins and weaknesses, just as all men do. But he loves so well, and so completely; i wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.
i know many people who have a hard time believing in a God who loves because they never had a Dad who did. i am so blessed in this way: my dad makes it easy to believe in a loving God. He has shown Him to me all my life.
Just as my Dad has loved me through all of these things, my Abba has as well. It is hard to see sometimes, hard to rest in, because either circumstances or i have been nearly unbearable. But i am so fortunate to have a model here on earth. When i look at my dad, i see the love of God.
Thanks Dad. Happy Father’s Day.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. – John 13 : 34