The First Father's Day Without Daddy
This Sunday is Father's Day. I have been dreading this date for weeks, thinking of what it may be like for my girls.
This week one of Jason's friend who is a father passed away. This week two of my dear friends lost their fathers. I didn't know what to say to them besides "I'm so sorry."
Sometimes I don't now what to say to my own daughters besides "I'm so sorry."
I don't know what it's like for neither of them.
I never had a father. I never experienced the love of a good and caring father. I will never understand what it feels to loose a Daddy.
So I cry with my friends and I wipe my children's tears, and I pray a little prayer for them. A prayer for God to comfort them in their grief.
There is a tree near my house that I pass by every day. It has always been so full of life, so beautiful and lush. I noticed three months ago that that very tree looked dead. It was bare and lifeless, its naked crocked branches stretching up towards the heaves as if in a plea for mercy. It was as if that tree was begging for help, for a sign, but its clamour fell into deaf ears.
I thought that tree was just like me. It stood there as an outward expression of my inner landscape, for I too felt barren and dried up. Any of my former exuberance long gone.
Grief has that kind of power. It knocks the life out of you and it leaves you barren and vulnerable and ugly.
Like my tree, I had so many times stretched out my hands to the heavens and cried out, sometimes screamed, sometimes barely whispered for mercy, for help, for a sign. But too often my pleas were met with silence. Maybe no one up there was listening, or maybe no one was interested.
Grief has that ability. It disorientated, confuses and blinds you. It makes you question everything.
And then, two days ago I saw my tree again. I don't know when it happened or how it happened, but a dramatic change took place while I had been consumed with grief. My tree was covered in bright blooming pink flowers. Little birds perched on its branches as it stood tall and magnificently, unashamed and vibrant. Full of life and color and beauty.
All this new life happened while I've been trying so hard to survive this grief.
Grief has that determination. It's demanding, it is hard work, it's consuming. It takes all your energy and focus.
But there was my tree, boldly filling up the place with color, impossible to ignore, stranding there as a testimony that no prayer ever goes unanswered, no plea for mercy is ever ignored, and as sign that God's silence never equals God's indifference.
My tree is the picture of a promise for a future I cannot yet see, but that I can now start to hope for. Because like with my tree, I believe that God is yet making something beautiful and meaningful out of the dried up, broken and crocked parts of my life.
God has that power.
God has that ability.
God has that determination.
And God has that willingness.
So I pray a prayer for my lovely friends, and for my darling girls, who mourn the death of their loving fathers, who will spend their first Father's Day this Sunday loving their Daddies in absence, unable to embrace and be embraced by the wonderful men that means the world to them.
I ask the Lord to be with them in this painful journey as He has been with me, and I ask that as he works in silence to heal and restore their hearts, and to make them flourish again, that He also may help me to comfort them with the same comfort that He has and continues to comfort me.