Today, in the United States is Father’s Day.
And this is a Sunday in America – all over in churches everywhere people are reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Our father who art in heaven is the opening line of the Lord’s Prayer, which along with the Hindu Gayatri, are considered to be the most recited prayers in the world.
And I recite and sing both, daily. But I wonder, I wonder what it does to us on a daily practical level if we do not also remember to honor our fathers here, on earth.
New fathers, who have as they would say in the oldie days of the womens’s movement – new fathers who have had their consciousness raised – now cuddle their new infants, carry them, change their diapers – and are in word and deed present for our new generation – some are present before birth by actively speaking to their progeny in the womb, and thus becoming a presence in the sound scape of the unity before birth.
How can we go further into creating justice till we can start to honor good fathers openly who avowedly wanted their children, who understood and understand that the creation of a child is a lifelong relationship, that they have no rights over anyone’s body but their own, and yet have responsibilities to all their offspring. Fathers who know that their offspring are not their possessions – but free, autonomous and sacred individuals. Fathers who teach their sons about healthy consensual mutual relationships and expose the rape culture. Fathers who honor their daughters. Fathers who honor their sons. I see those fathers daily. I am married to one. I know them in my community. And how hard is it to be a father in this culture! How hard it is to be present with other men who are ogling young teenage women when you have a daughter the same age? And how do you speak up in that moment? To do so is an honest brave act – and bravery is hard.
So please, do more than pass memes around on Facebook or open your pocketbook to Planned Parenthood. Support real fatherhood education, let us teach our boys that every act of intercourse with a woman is an invitation to fatherhood unless you seal the envelope, and that mutuality is essential in all relationships. Teach them that to say yes to fatherhood is a blessing and a commitment to the life of another being for as long as you live.
Honor our the best part of our species – our ability to bond, to attach, to parent, by helping every child be a wanted child, and every mother and every father a wanted parent. Our longing for life is in our DNA, we can argue whether God is there as well – but no child enters this world without invitation. The question is what do those invites look like – are they holy, or are the abusive. We have a long way to go, but without all of us, reproductive justice can not happen.
Fathers, we need you, your sons and daughters need you to be bold and speak up for our futures – we need your love openly, and honestly to declare that all children should be wanted children. We need to declare again and again, that all life is sacred, and worthy of respect.
Who are here in heaven on earth,
We hallow and honor your names,
We stand now together.
Providers, we receive our daily needs by the help of your heart and hands.
Forgive us for our anger, our separation and our distance,
As we forgive you the absences , injuries and hurts we have received.
May we lead each other into wholeness, and deliver ourselves from evil,
For the time is now.
May we love each other justly
And create heaven on earth together.
Happy and Blessed Father’s Day