So. It’s “Father’s Day.”
At least here in the U.S. of A. anyway.
I would like to write for you a deeply sentimental post about what my dad means to me, but I’m prevented by honesty. Anne Lamott said it well when she said “If people wanted you to write warmly of them, they should have behaved better.”
They should have…
He should have…
You see where I’m going with this. (I’m sorry for telegraphing, but I have something to say, and won’t let myself sleep until it’s written).
My dad was a man who:
When trying to play catch with me as a youngster, threw the ball at me harder and harder, and then derided me for my poor catching skills.
Walked away from me in frustration when, in his estimation, I didn’t learn how to bat quickly enough via the Johnny Bench Batter Up he’d installed in our back yard.
I could go on. Suffice it to say that he was a man who left me, and our family, just as I was entering my teen years. When I needed him most, needed help navigating questions of identity, the changes of puberty, he took a breeze.
True, or not, intended, or not–the message came through loud and clear: you don’t have what it takes, you’re no good to me.
I believed those bullshit lies for most of my life, and subsequently tried to appease him, earn his approval. To the detriment of myself, my wife, and family. But it never came. Like Kimbra sings to Gotye in Somebody That I Used To Know:
Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say…
When I sought merely his acceptance, I didn’t get it. All I wanted was his love, but he didn’t get me. I don’t hate him, but I’m no longer a little boy hanging on his every word. “The cat’s in the cradle, and the silver spoon…”
I’ve moved on, and my dad is just somebody that I used to know.
My Heavenly Father loves me, and sent His Son to die for me.
But that’s not the end of the story. No, I seem to suffer with some of the same inadequacies when it comes to relating to my own now teenaged son. It’s harder than it should be. this goes back generationally:
My dad didn’t equip me, wasn’t equipped by his dad, who in turn wasn’t equipped by his own father (my great grandfather). Divorce is a curse that has plagued my family for decades. Whether there was good reason for it, or not, we have nothing but men who don’t know the first thing about being just that: men.
Which is why I was overjoyed recently to learn that I’d been accepted in the lottery to attend a Wild At Heart boot camp in Colorado this August. If John Eldredge, and his ministry, Ransomed Heart, know how to do anything it’s to equip men. Here’s the rub: it costs $475 to attend.
To some of you, this may seem like a lot of money; to others, not. In any case, Lisa (my wife) and I prayed about, and subsequently decided, to forgo a second income. So she could be home with the kids, provide discipline and stability. All of which is to say that there isn’t $475 in the budget for me to go to the retreat.
Which is why I am appealing to you, my readers. I hate asking in this way, but if each of you have a few dollars to spare I’m sure we can reach the goal.
The catch is that Ransomed Heart wants payment by Friday, June 22nd. Thus, we need to reach the $475 mark by this Thursday, the 21st.
I wouldn’t appeal to you in this way at all if I didn’t feel so strongly that it was something I needed to do.
Thank-you very much for your prayerful consideration!
You can PayPal me at gandalf239 [at] gmail [dot] com
If we don’t meet the goal all donations will be refunded.