Sunday, June 13, 2010

Father's Day (that's Father with a capitol F)

Blogger John Shore says: “We spend the first years of our lives utterly dependent upon our parents … If they don’t choose to give us what we need, we perish…And so children born to crappy parents do virtually the only thing they can do, which is to…convince themselves that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, their parents really are good, caring people who really do love them.”

Isn’t that the truth? It comes down to the survival instinct. You convince yourself that they are the source of peace (despite all the yelling), they are your source of strength and confidence. You are able to go out in the big scary world because you have parents who love you and built you up and made you who you are. And you have faith in them.

And as an adult, when you finally peel back the bandage to look at the scar, voila! The truth is so inescapable, you might just fall into depression, flounder in thoughts of worthlessness—if not thoughts of suicide. And so you do the only thing you can do: rather than admit the truth to yourself, you ever so gently, quietly, push your canoe away from their canoe—trying not to make too many ripples lest you rock their boat. And when you’re far enough away, you start to pretend they don’t exist. I mean they exist, but out of sight, out of mind. Occasional uncomfortable dinners and forced cheery phone calls.

But when someone, say your sister or your friend asks why you don’t have a relationship with your parents, you have to come up with THE REASON. You can’t just admit they were actually just this side of baby-eaters and if you stood too close, they would devour you alive—metaphorically speaking. So you instead ponder the question with a thoughtful crook of the eyebrows and the more you ponder the more you start to question yourself and the more you question yourself the more guilt you stir up and the more guilt you stir up the harder it gets to look yourself in the mirror.

But then it hits you: they really were crappy! My father bolted and never looked back and my mother married a man who mentally and physically abused my sisters and I. And she stuck with him out of selfishness—he was a paycheck. I should hate them all.

But all that pales—dims to absolute insignificance in light of one fact: God is my True Father. God is my strength. My peace and confidence and resiliency. And when I lack those—which I do, even if I hate to admit it—I have the ultimate gift of a parent: I can fall back into the arms of my Father and listen to Him remind me that I am His beloved child.

And happily, because God sacrificed His Son, my parents' sins are forgiven along with mine. And because of that sacrifice, my forgiveness of my parents actually means something. It has Power. And because of that Power, I don't hate my parents.


  1. So, why don't you have a relationship with your parents? Just kidding. Awesome writing my dear!

  2. Wow! I am not sure anyone could have said that better. Every word of it true and painful. Painfully true. I love you brother. You are worthy of all the love a parent has to give. I'm glad you have forgiven. Forgiven not forgotten.