ok, so i'll be honest...
i still can't really do father's day.

from memorial day onwards, there are constant reminders of the day...in every department store you walk into...not to mention the internet.

when i first see them, it's always like a punch in the gut. i still miss him so much.

my dad was a minister...among many other things...
the last time i ever heard him preach though, was on father's day almost 3 years ago.

even though i grew up hearing him preach almost every sunday, my dad was still my favorite pastor to listen to. he was a big burly man, but he had a tender and thoughtful way of sharing about God's love.

i adored that man. probably more than it is right to adore another human being.
but we were connected at the soul. i know that having such a loving father who understood me has always influenced my idea of God.

but anyways, on that father's day almost 3 years ago, i remember him talking about the parable of the prodigal son. this was a sermon of his that i'd heard before, but it was probably one of my favorites.

except he didn't call it the story of the prodigal son...
he always called it the story of the loving father.

now i'm just going to kind of assume that you know the story.

my dad was bit of a history nerd...which is something that i think made him really great at looking at bible stories, and telling them from their cultural and historical context.

the story of the prodigal son is one about a rebellious son who rejects his family and blows his inheritance, and then later comes back and asks mercy from his father, who forgives him and accepts him back.

now to americans, this is a nice sort of hallmark movie story. the end.

but my dad understood the real significance behind it. and for me, i think marrying into a more eastern and shame based culture has made the story more real for me as well.

i've seen how people in india alter their behaviors solely based on how they will be accepted socially.

my dad was right. the shocking thing about this story isn't the behavior of the son.
it's the love of the father.

in western culture we have the focus on the wrong person.

in that kind of eastern community oriented culture, the son had brought shame on the family. the only respectable thing the father could have done in the eyes of the community (and even the rest of his family), would be to disown his son.

but in this story, the father instead chooses to take the shame onto himself and make a spectacle of his own self. because his son was more important than all that.
because he loved his son.

i'm sure that was a really radical concept of God at the time. still is.

but anyways. i'm thinking of my dad this weekend...and missing him so much it hurts.
i was blessed to have such a loving father.

happy father's day daddy. i can't wait to see you again.


  1. thank you Mandy for this lovely post - miss him all the time too! I am glad you had such a perfect relationship to my brother.

  2. I always skip church on Mother's Day -- took me a few years after my mom's death to learn that one. It sounds like your dad died around Father's Day, which would make it even harder. I used to wish I could block out all ads for the month or so before Mother's day.

    I love people who put Biblical stories into historical context. I've heard similar things about that story, like the significance of a wealthy man picking up his robes to run. It's one of my favorite stories, but A recently read Manga Messiah (a Japanese-style comic book of the Gospels, with verse references on each page) and said it was the story that confused him the most. Your post reminds me that I need to explain it to him -- even though I don't identify as Christian anymore, stories like this are still important to me for what they teach about God and humanity.

  3. Mandy, our fathers teach us about God! There is a book called the Fathers Heart of God from Floyd McClunghttp://www.amazon.de/Father-Heart-God-Floyd-McClung/dp/0890814910) which goes into the depth of this thought and why we who did not have such a great Dad need to have a little help form our real Father in heaven. I love that book and I recommend it to all the guys who become fathers. Its an awesome responsibility. Love the take of the story and I know you are right. Its about the father not the "bad" son. So glad you found a husband who it seems to be a lot like your Dad! :-)
    Praying for you in this hard time! Doing a lot of crying with my sister lately over my Mom's Death. We had not have time to grieve really yet. Such is life.


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