Sunday, June 21, 2009
What Dads Do
Over the last day or two, I've been pondering what to write in this space. The more I thought of fathers, the more I thought of my Dad, people like my friend Ted. And our Father God.
But I wasn't sure what the quality is we all share. Pride, for sure. God sending down a dove and a loud voice when His son was baptized. I know this past basketball season I celebrated my son's play at the end of the game to the point that people thought it was a bit much. God, could you have just done the voice? Did you need to send the dove, too?
Maybe it's being a fool. That, I've done plenty. I know people have seen me at the aforementioned basketball games, jawing at refs and overall being a blithering fool. I know you can catch me most nights or days talking in voices, making up stories, singing songs that are foolish - but they're for my kids. It's what you do. Sometimes you're a monster, sometimes you're a tickle monster, sometimes you're a storyteller. Sometimes you're an opera singer. It's for the kids.
Trust me, God knows this too. Being a fool for His children. Showing love or mercy at all to a failure like me. Sending an idyllic morning and a snoring daughter who is incompatible with life my way on Father's Day is a foolish show of love for an undeserving child.
Then I read this devotion, which helped me focus on the true fathering trait. It's reckless care for those given for you. How'd you like to be Adam, first father, father of the first murderer? Do you think Adam lifted his son up in prayer recklessly? How'd you like to be God or my father, looking at my jagged life?
It's not our job to lay claim to the successes or failures of our children. It's our job to stretch ourselves out for them as shepherds and advocates, to get less sleep and to have no money, to weep for their losses and be fools for them in their success, to sometimes be the opera singer and sometimes the coach. Recklessly.