The Love of the Father

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, June 17, 2018

By: Owen Conway

Father’s Day was a day to be thankful—to express love and gratitude for Dad, a man who knew all and gave all. Our Father’s Days, as young children, were filled with hugs, kisses, and small, yet significant handmade gifts for the greatest man in our world. We never gave ties, books, or nice dinners out, because our father suddenly and tragically died when we were very young. Growing up, I often talked to my father through prayer. As a young adult, I was still praying to my dad in heaven to watch over me; to help my heart be filled with love, to treat others kindly, to make good decisions.

When I married my husband, he thoughtfully made me a painted wooden plaque citing a poem–“My father is not my father. I came through him but not from him . . .” Initially I thought, “What? My father is not my father? How can this be?” I felt farther away from my Daddy, still identifying with the relationship I’d had with him as a young girl. I went through a transformation. I grew. I met with John Miller to discuss this, and I started identifying my dad as a man and God as my father. I now know that even the best dads on earth are only glimpses of the care, love, and provision of our Heavenly Father. I believe that we all belong as children to our Heavenly Father—we can always come home, we will always be his, and he will always be ours.

My brothers and I are grown now with our own children. We’re fortunate to have a wonderful step-father, loving uncles, and friends of our dad who have been father figures to us. I am blessed to have had such an amazing dad, even for only a short period of time here on Earth. I still feel my dad’s presence with me in all that I do, but I am not just a girl who lost her father; I have so much to be thankful for on Father’s Day and every day. I find peace in praying to God, and am comforted in knowing that no matter who, or where, our earthly dads are, we are unconditionally loved children of God, our Father, who will never leave us or forsake us.

1 John 3:1 “How Great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Now, that is something to celebrate!