As the daughter of two fathers:
one biological, one adopted,
one gay, one straight,
and as a daughter, a mother and a minister,
the word ‘father’ for me is filled with multiple meanings and feelings.
I sit with the ideas of
Our Father in Heaven,
my fathers in heaven
and all fathers here on Earth.
I start my days with an ancient version of a common Christian prayer – one whose sources and translations are the cause of much scholarly and theological debate – that is not my point – it is a prayer that helps me connect to the unity of this present reality. It is one simple, possible translation of an Aramaic version of what has become known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Our Father”
May thy name be holy.
May thy sovereign unity come.
May thy will be done.
Give us today our sustaining bread.
And forgive us our debts.
As we forgive our debtors.
And don’t let us enter into temptations.
No Heaven. No separation, a unity.
I honor You.
Sustaining, learning/understanding and bread –
All have one root word.
The word for forgiveness?
It means return to original state –
no original sin from a distant dad in the clouds –
and debt? An unintended consequence, and accidental offence or a tangled thread…..
Help us stay upright.
and it ends there – with no evil.
i was blessed to have so many good fathers.
My first father died when I was 9,
my second father died when I was 22.
I was told at 10 that my father could not possibly be in Heaven, because he wasn’t saved by the blood of Jesus Christ; I was told at 13 that my first father could never get into heaven, even with the blood of Christ, because he was a homosexual. I was also told at the same time that my second father could not get into heaven because he was Catholic. We then discovered that he had been excommunicated after his divorce – and so then he discovered he wasn’t getting into heaven.
He declared this ok, as he was in heaven with us.
And while we may be filled with the great mystery, and awash in our nooks and crannies with an ungendered, un-namable presence called by many names –
50 % of our DNA comes from an Earth man,
not a Space man. And we need to honor that.
We need to honor our Earth,
We need to honor the sacred masculine,
not the Imperial Male,
and we need to give thanks – to real fathers –
whenever and wherever we see them –
for they are sacred.
So while I may start my day with an old prayer, today, I wrote a new prayer –
Oh Dear Fathers who feel so powerless –
Your power is here with your children –
Care for us, nurture us –
We will care for you, and nurture you.
Oh Dear Fathers who are overwhelmed and underpaid risking your hearts daily,
We honor your service
We know how hard you work
Oh Dear Fathers,
Who wipe noses,
And tie shoes,
Please read to us, again… and again… and again.
Oh Dear Fathers who stand in confusion
And know not what to say,
Your real breathing presence is what we need
Far more than words.
Oh Dear Fathers who are no longer here on Earth,
We are still here,
And you live on.
Oh Dear Fathers,
We are grateful for all the learning and the food,
All of us miss the mark sometimes –
We forgive all those times when we did.
Oh Dear Fathers,
We pray that we do our best to honor your name,
And we forgive
all those times
when neither of us did.
Happy Father’s Day.