Friday, July 22, 2011

My Father Hates Me

About a year ago I wrote a post entitled “I Hate My Father”. It was written in reaction to a note which was sent to me. Sadly, in this past year that post has been the most popular of this blog, visited more than any other. People who Google: “I Hate My Father” are regularly referred here, and even if they don’t read my page or get anything out of it, it still saddens me that there are so many people who think that way, or wonder about their feelings that way.

I re-read that page again this morning, and I realized that perhaps there is more to say about the subject. The prior posting emphasized the individual and “what” he was feeling, but perhaps a slightly different look may help him and us see “why” he was feeling. Perhaps why he was feeling that he hated his father is because he felt that his father hated him --- and perhaps he felt that this father had a reason to do so. In a way, some people feel they are defective, and undeserving of love, and so if a parent hates them it is justified. They are wrong. Both that they are defective, and that they are undeserving of love.

It’s important for us to realize why we were created in the first place, to be loved by God. That is the reason He created the world, and everything in it, even you. Imagine a bucket, created specifically to be placed in a river, to capture its waters, and to be always filled with its cool refreshment. God is the river of life, and you are the bucket. But buckets are sometimes abused by those they are entrusted to – our parents, and they can become dented or even get large holes in them. They cannot function as they were made to do. So they keep dipping in the river, and are frustrated or even angry that the water flows out through their holes so rapidly. Life does not appear to offer them happiness. They wish they could fix their holes, but they were not made to do that either. Perhaps even their parents may grow angry with them, forgetting that they are possibly the ones which created the defect.

It may happen that if the bucket continues to dip into the river a piece of wood or a stone may flow into the bucket. It may block somewhat the hole there, and then water will flow out a bit slower. And it will be refreshed for a bit longer period, but it yearns for more. And there may come the day when a large leaf, or even an old newspaper may flow into the bucket and nearly perfectly seal the hole. Something which may have appeared as trash can be used by the river to heal the bucket, to make it stay nearly perfectly filled with the river. Oh, the bucket could seek to capture the perfect trash itself, but the river’s eddies and swirls flow as they will; it is not easy to tame. Nor are the flows of our life.

God, the river of life, can heal us in His good time. We need to keep dipping into His waters with faith; the healing is there. In the meantime, perhaps we will be healed some --- it is almost inevitable if we persist. And perhaps one day we will find we are filled with something we least expect, which nearly totally heals us, and the river flows into us and we feel almost completely fulfilled, being what we are made to be.


But one of the truths of life is that none of us will be totally fulfilled in this life. In at least some small way, every man is defective in this life. Only heaven brings perfection. Now in this life we can focus on the hole in our bucket, how we were damaged in some big or small way, or we can continue to dip ourselves into the river, over and over, confident that our betterment, our little fulfillment lies there. Like buckets, it is what we were made to do.

A father who did not make you into the perfect bucket he was tasked to do is something to regret. He failed, although perhaps if he is still in your life he can effect some repairs; he, the bucket’s earthly caretaker, is perhaps better able to do this than anyone else on earth. But if that is not to be, then the bucket still exists. Ruing the father, cursing him, hating him, does not change the lot of the bucket, it only keeps it busy on the shore, when the refreshing waters are flowing nearby, the waters the bucket was made to dip into, the waters which can bring it healing and happiness --- even eternal happiness.

Don’t be focused on the things which will not, which you cannot, change in your life. Be instead, who you were made to be, to the best of your ability. Therein lays your happiness, seeking to do the will of God, capturing the river of His love and graces, which flow there for you, if you would choose to dip in them.

But the choice is yours. Stay on shore and curse the heat and dryness, or join the rest of us defective buckets in the stream. None of us is perfect, and we won’t envy you if you are bigger than us or capture more water than us; there is plenty. And we won’t chastise your imperfection, no matter how big, because we all leak like sieves also.

And who knows, while something odd may flow down the river one day to partially heal you or I, perhaps, just perhaps, the river will push you and I together, and we’ll be surprised to learn that one bucket, of just the right size, will nestle within another, making the perfect seal for the holes in both of them.

Stranger things have happened in the river. Miracles occur there. Do you only remember the birth of Christ as being honored by the three kings, as life being a thing of richness and glory? The lowly shepherds were invited to Jesus’ birthday celebration, too. And an angel told the shepherds: Fear not!

Even the lowliest, the most defective are called into the river of His life and graces; they can be healed. He awaits them. And you.

If you think your father hates you, remember, your Father does not, and He heals all things.

If God is Love, then certainly the devil is hate. And the Love is All-Good, and the hate is all-evil. Remember the prayer Jesus taught us, and pray it sincerely throughout your life: Our Father, …. Deliver us from evil. Amen.

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