Tomorrow, April 17, is my father's 80th birthday. It is unfortunate that I will not be able to spend it with him, since he and my mom live in Florida and, it being the beginning of Holy Week, the busiest season for those of us who are responsible for preparing parish liturgies, I cannot take the time off. Dad understands and I certainly will take the time to call him on this momentous occasion, although I think he would rather let it pass unnoticed. Still, I would have loved to be there. My dad is so important to me. He has always been there for me, even though living so far away. His children are his life and no matter how my three siblings and I might have caused him pain or disappointment, he never once turned away from us, but showered us with his love and his care.
I think it is because of my loving relationship with my father that I can relate well to God as Father. Dad taught me so many things. Like how to swim, and drive both a car and a boat. He bought me my first guitar, and told me he loved to hear me sing. He sang to me as we drove to the emergency room when I broke my arm in third grade and when he danced with me at my wedding. My Father in Heaven taught me so many things, and He gave me music and song, and He dances with me all the time, a dance of Love. Just like my earthly father, God has never rejected me, or turned from me, no matter how many times I may have turned from Him. Our heavenly Father, Jesus' Abba, will always be there, watching out for us, welcoming us when we have strayed and always, always loving us. I don't always remember to call upon him, and sometimes I do feel He is so far away, but it is I who creates the distance, not God.
The Father loves His children, all of them, those who are close and even those who are far away. As we enter into Holy Week, let us remember to call upon our Father in prayer, for He so much wants to hear from us and wants to tell us how much He loves us.
I love you daddy. Happy Birthday. And I love you Father. Keep us always in your care.