I won't be with my children this fathers day. The timing didn't work quite well enough this year. But it's not about the particular day or the gifts as we all know.
Looking back, I sometimes wish I could have been more. That I wasn't enough. That my quirks of personality and emphasis somehow overshadowed what was going on in my heart. But there are no do overs. And actually I'm quite OK with that.
My heart overflows with love for my children. It's quite unexplainable actually. It's not that clingy, velcro type of love. I always thought that my role was to prepare them to live into their God given potential. To free them and not bind them. To bless them, not dominate them. Sometimes I did these things well. Occasionally, I stumbled. Always, though, I meant well even in the regrettable times.
I always thought my kids would be alright if they loved Jesus with all of their being and lived that belief out in grace filled, thoughtful ways wherever God planted them. That still remains my greatest ongoing hope. My prayer is that they will never just settle for the American Dream for taken to an extreme there is an inherent selfishness in all of that. There's more that they are created for. Gloriously more. I pray that they will never settle for some cheap, cultural, trinket God who doesn't really exist.
Like many these days our family has been fractured by divorce. That's always difficult even in the most amicable situations. What was intended no longer is possible. A new definition of family emerges. Doable certainly but not without it's awkward challenges. On days dedicated to dads one feels the pain of the brokenness.
I look at my children and see all kinds of things. I especially see the possibilities before them. What lives will they continue to touch? What risks will they be willing to take? Will they look for Jesus at the intersections of life? Will they be the creators of authentic community? Will they wrestle with the deep issues of life? Will they love their own children in their own quirky ways that will remind them of their own father and his eccentricities?
I love my children and their children. More deeply than I think they know. May you forever know you are loved.