Two weeks ago my father passed away. He was not an easy man to connect with. So, we weren’t close.
Anything I write about it will inevitably fail to convey the reality of what would be justifiably labelled as a “failed” relationship.
No words I choose to use can adequately describe what kind of person he was. Nor can they fairly present the two-sides of the damaged legacy that informed and followed a lot of the choices he made.
I’ve looked for ways to write about it and have nothing. Hence the simple reflective posts over the past month.
My words seem to stubbornly sit in a void. It’s not like I have nothing to say, it’s just that there isn’t a lot that could be said.
Then there’s the added complication of a what should be said, but needs to be said carefully, at the right time and to the right people.
What I can say is that although grace redefined our relationship as father and son, one-sided relationships are hard to maintain. As a result it never was what it should, or could have been. I lament that. What I see, however, and am thankful for is how grace moved through forgiveness to empower me to work with what I could do instead of what he or others expected and demanded that I should do.
Subsequently, we were able to connect in a healthy way, establishing and asserting boundaries; speaking on the phone almost every month for the past ten years, interacting with him online, sending him care packages, driving to speak and pray with him the week that he died.
As much as I would like to take the credit for this. With the dysfunction that existed there, such contact was and remains an act of God.
It’s what recently attracted me to an event that Luke mentions.
The people who had come out to hear Jesus preach needed to eat and the disciples were getting antsy. Jesus steps up and works with what he has. No magic. No fairy dust. Just an incomprehensible act of grace that apprehends us.
Challenging us to see and understand that He can make possible that which otherwise seems to be impossible.
‘Jesus directed the disciples saying, ”Sit them down in groups of about fifty.” They did what he said, and soon had everyone seated. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread and fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd.’
– (Luke 9:14-17, The Message)
Photo credit: Mine. It is cropped from a larger photo that features a sculpture tucked away into a wall near the Manning River in Taree, NSW.