As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13, NIV
That’s a difficult statement for those of us who had less than healthy relationships with our less than godly fathers. My dad’s slogan was, “Stop crying before I give you something to cry about.” When I was twelve, my parents divorced, due to my father’s long history of infidelity. Although he had unlimited visitation and lived about a half hour away, I only saw my dad a few times a year.
I thank God for providing me with different images of fatherhood.
Mr. Roberts, my spiritual father, encouraged my first wobbly steps as a believer, prayed for me, and chauffeured me to any Christian youth event in northern New Jersey.
My father-in-law was a comical and infuriating grandfather, sneaking chocolate to my son who hadn’t eaten his Easter dinner. My favorite memory of him is how he carried my sons in his arms, serenading them with all the verses of “Pop Goes the Weasel” and “It Is No Secret What God Can Do.” Once he ran half a block in his socks, carrying my oldest to see a train up close.
My younger brother Tim matured from an entertaining uncle to an involved father, once cooking a double batch of that awful boxed macaroni and cheese that kids love so much, and serving it to his boys and mine.
My husband Gene sobbed with relief after locating our preschool son, momentarily missing at a boardwalk amusement pier. Early in his fathering career, Gene learned to diagnose ear infections, using his own otoscope to peer into tiny ear canals. Much later, he mastered college financial aid applications. Even with the boys grown, Gene remains the go-to person for health issues and malfunctioning cars.
Those are just a few snapshots of good fathering, and I have many more in my album. Thanks to these men, I can better envision the compassion of Father God.
Is there a man in your life who has shown you the character of God? Wish him a Happy Father's Day from me.