My father was over the moon with joy when I was born. He called me his ‘little chippy’ - a chip of the old block! Desiring the best for me, he did all he could, sometimes sacrificially. You can ask no more than that from anyone. But as I grew into boyhood he became more distant. That wasn’t how he wanted it. But because of his buried grief and shutdown feelings, there was no emotional bonding between us. As he said, much later in life, “I’m just not made that way!”
He wasn’t there when I needed him most, when I was hurting inside. I wanted him to put his arms around me and tell me it was all right. I needed to know what he was feeling and thinking and what he was afraid of. That he felt the same as me. As it was, I concluded that it was wrong to have feelings of fear and guilt. My response was to hide them away.
It was much later, in my thirties, that I came to know a God who is all-powerful and mighty, but bends right down to hear our heart whisper. It was only then, after I knew it was safe, that I dared take a risk. I allowed those same feelings to surface and experienced Father melt away the fear and and lift off the guilt and shame.
My earthly father is long gone. I have nothing but love for him and am left with some really good childhood memories.
It still touches me deep inside, when I realise what a loving heavenly Father I have. A God who longs to Father us and be to us what we need.