Psychologists say that our earliest impressions of God are formed by our impressions of our fathers. On this Father’s Day weekend, I find myself thinking about my Dad and my Father.
Dad was a Methodist Sunday school teacher before enlisting in the Army at the beginning of World War II. There he experienced horrific atrocities and struggled with his faith for the rest of his life. He had his first heart attack when I was two years old, and died when I was a senior in college.
While we did not share spiritual conversations, my Dad modeled my Father’s unconditional love for me. There was never a moment when I wondered if he loved me, no matter how much I pleased or disappointed him. I remember the two-alarm fire I started in a nearby field, the time I used my Cub Scouts pocketknife to poke holes in the neighbor’s hose, the “stink bombs” I ignited in elementary school classrooms, and the list goes on. Growing up I would have been voted “least likely to write a spiritual blog.” But Dad always supported me, and encouraged me, and made sure I knew he was on my side. He told me he loved me every night and every morning.
My Father’s love is even more unconditional. He sees my actions and reads my thoughts, and knows the sins I don’t even know I’ll commit tomorrow. And yet he loves me and likes me, and watched his Son die so I could live. My Dad and my Father have given me a gift I could never earn but can only receive.
What has your Dad taught you about your Father?