HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, 2016

How can one say no to a child?  How can one be anything but a slave to one’s own flesh and blood?

Henry Miller

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Today’s post is about fathers, words, story, the mysterious ways of human life, and God … and hence about triumph over adversity.

A dear friend of mind said to me recently after listening to one of my impassioned responses to the calamity that surrounds her: “Your words are like they came straight from God … so fluid, so accurate, so true, so helpful.”  And then she asked: “How do you do that?”

Thinking about her question, made me think of words and how we come by them, how they are formed and shot out from us at the most impassioned times – lasers … beams of light aimed at what need be in our sight.

I recall someone said to me once: “Most people think in sentences, some in paragraphs – but you think in pages.”  That was a clue as to what my dear friend had asked.  How do the right words come forth so spontaneously?

For some time now I have known that when I write words flow and ideas form. There is no outline, no rough draft. There is only fingers typing slower than the words and thoughts ignite.  There is no plotting.  It is as if I am not writing but transcribing.

How can that be?  The answer: I never held my father’s hand.

My father abandoned my mother and me when I was an infant.  From early on – I lived from the inside out – all events, all intrusions were taken in and life as it was stored within … and I became a slow cooker of the mystery that is life, of being a child, a boy, an American, a person, a friend, a man, a soldier, a husband, a father, a lawyer, a Believer.

Words come from life lived, wounds inflicted, exquisite joys, love given and received, sense made of it – things understood and things not understood … but experienced nonetheless.

When words come from life fully accepted and lived, they come from God.  Their origin is from The One who first breathed His breath, His Spirit into you.  That is the nature of life lived fully – of acceptance of the Divine Gift from the Divine Gift Giver.  Without a biological father my connection with Our Heavenly Father through His grace and love of me was present in a woman who was both mother and father to me – and in endless friends, and mentors, family members and experiences that fed and formed me from the inside out.

Yes, Father’s Day for me is about the origin of words we say, feelings we know so well, our story, life, the place and misplacement of parents, human love and divine love, living life as it is presented, about Our Father who watches over us and asks only that we take Him in and take the life He presents to us in the full confidence that all will be well.

It is sheer genius that Father’s Day was created in the United States.  It says much about us.  In honoring Fathers we say: fatherhood is important, men matter, family is important, fathers are necessary, mothers and fathers are indispensable, marriage is a sacred and irreplaceable institution and we are the children of a Loving Father all of our life, even when we become a father and a grandfather.

In the last few decades cads who seek power have made war on men, on fathers and family and motherhood for their selfish and inane exaltation, their desire to seize control and reorder nature, America, the West and the world.  On this Father’s Day, I ask: what have you said or done in response?

Shalom.

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