As I read the Gospel for this Sunday where Jesus is asleep in the boat with the apostles, I thought about my Dad who can fall asleep anywhere he makes a pitstop – a chair, the sofa, even while on his knees saying his prayers at night. He can even sleep soundly in the midst of a thunder and lightning storm. But whenever there was a storm when I was a child, I would run to him, like the apostles ran to Jesus, wake him up and climb up onto his lap, grab his arms and wrap them around me, because the place I felt the safest was tucked in my Dad’s embrace, listening to the storm rage outside our home. And while he didn’t calm the storm like Jesus, he calmed my heart because I knew he was right there, and I was safe.
And while this is my reality, there are those who this comfort, peace and security is far from their reality. For some, while Dad was there, his presence didn’t bring the safety and reassurance that was needed. For others, their fathers were not present. Whatever the situation may be in our families at this time, I pray that we open ourselves to a deeper relationship with the One Father whose presence is even greater and more constant in our life.
In a reflection on Father’s Day by Nicole Smithee, she encapsulates my hope for my Dad and all the “Dads” who will be celebrating this day, and that is to “know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your Heavenly Father is [in the the boat] of your life and will never leave you; that God has always been there in the highs and lows; that one heart-to-heart with Him can calm the raging storm of your soul and heal the deepest wounds of your heart; that one word from Him can ignite hope deep within you and breathe bravery into your very lungs; that one conversation with Him can deposit wisdom for your world and inexpressible joy in your current circumstances.”
Happy Father’s Day to all who have ever stepped into the role of “dad.” Whether that be a brother, an uncle, grandpa, cousin, friend, or in the most familiar case to me, the moms who stand in the role of dad – may we all have an open heart to the Father who loves us simply because we are His children.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)