For the Fathers Without

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Dear God, you fathered a world, humanity created in your image, then you fathered a nation, and a peoples. Eventually you fathered the Son who would show the world dutiful devotion, even when his brothers and sisters turned on him, you loved them all.

I celebrate the father’s without shame today. Those that have accepted, loved, sought understanding and pride despite the hardships of life. Who acknowledged children without a marriage certificate or the approval of their families, despite pressures of the outside world, who fought to show their children they loved them.

For the first without fear of diaper changing, spit up or “breaking the baby”. For dreams which are not reality in tiny human form. For the Fathers without their names on birth certificates who raised children to be outstanding human beings. Who spread love without fear.

If only it were all that easy, but it’s also all that hard. Today my heart breaks for the fathers without. They are men who have seen the spectrum of heartbreak and overwhelming joy.

For those who are fathers without children. Men who could struggle with infertility, for men who were born without male parts, for men who make the decision to not have children, yet live in sadness, I lift them to you. They mourn the expectation, the hope of the birth, the overwhelming love.

Like the Parodical father, you wait for us to return to you. But my heart aches today for the fathers whose sons and daughters will never return. Gunned down, threatened, beaten for the color of their skin, their bodies, or whom they love. For the sons and daughters to never return home because of drugs, a bomb or drunk driver. The children lost and taken, abused and broken.

For the children who will never see their fathers again. For those who grieve the loss of a harsh man, for those who mourn the kindest, gentlest soul they knew. For the last Father’s Day with, for the first without. For everyday in-between this Sunday in June where he heart aches.

I pray for those who yearn for connection but have been rejected due to their father’s shame. For those who put doctrine above relationship. For those who refuse to understand, for those who judge too harshly, for those who cannot take the log out of their own eye. For those fathers and children who just can’t right now.

For the fathers without today, his children in someone else’s care, his children taken from the world too soon, his children estranged, his children nonexistent. I mourn for you and with you. God hold them in your care, love them, protect them, watch over them.

This is my prayer, Amen.

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