Short and Sweet:

Tips for living the abundant life


"Disappointing My Father..."

Both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day touches deep emotions for most of us.  I remember when I lost my voice for 18 months back in 1980.  I will never forget resigning my job, going on sick leave, driving to the UIC office only to find out that my company did not have any long-term disability insurance.  In the midst of those devastating experiences, my strongest feeling was that I was disappointing my father.  However my dad was not feeling that way at all.  He was just concerned that I recover my voice and get back on track.  Deep within most of us is this inexpressible desire to please our fathers.

In the early 1980’s, I spent almost five years in Abbotsford, during which time we had our second child.  Each week I went to visit the sick in the local hospital.  While visiting the psychiatric ward, I met a man who had Anglican and Roman Catholic parents.  He said to me that he hadn’t seen a priest in thirty years.  Out of the blue, he told me that he never prayed to God.  ‘God was too angry’, he said. ‘You just couldn’t talk to him.  He would always blow up.’  The man went on to say that he only prayed to the Virgin Mary.  ‘She was kind, loving, gentle, and would always listen’, he said.
I said to the man, ‘Does God ever remind you of your earthly father?’.  ‘Funny you should say that’, he said. ‘ They are just the same.  They never listen and they always blow up at me.’  I went on to say, ‘What about your own mother? Does she remind you of the Virgin Mary?’  His eyes brightened up, and he said to me, ‘You must know my parents.  My mother is just like the Virgin Mary.  She always listens to me’.
I said to the man, ‘Your problem is not with God.  It is with your earthly father.  If you are willing to deal with the pain of your relationship to your dad, you will find that you will be able to talk to God.’  A week later, a local pyschiatrist phoned me up and informed me that this patient had experienced a major breakthrough in his counseling as a result.

In A.A., they say that you are as healthy as your secrets.  I would agree, but also add that we are as healthy as our relationship with our fathers. Why is it that so many men nowadays feel so ambivalent about their relationships with their dads? Click to find out...


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Contact Rev. Ed Hird 
St. Simon's Anglican Church 
North Vancouver, B.C.