To have a father, even to have known a father, is to be dwarfed. No matter what we achieve, we can never scale the unthinkable heights of the giant of our childhood vision. God makes Man in His image, but we see Him through the filter of our fathers, the man that is creator, provider and protector all in one from the first moment of our memory.
It is strange, but I always feel most secure when I know that my father is nearby. It doesn’t matter that I may be stronger, faster and more dangerous now, I always sleep better in the knowledge that no matter what may come, the same man who taught me that there was nothing to fear from thunder and the dark will be there to tell me that it’s all right, there’s no reason to be afraid, everything is under control. Even when it isn’t true, even when it can’t possibly be true, I still believe it.
The need for fathers is most apparent in the eyes of those who have never known one. Such unfortunates seem to lack something in their foundation, that innocent capacity for faith. It is a terrible sadness to have never known the surety of safety in mighty arms that shield far better than any armor.
Fathers cast great shadows; it is daunting to step out from them and for the first time clearly see the man behind the role. It is both a disappointment and a relief, but it is necessary. And if we cannot hope to match the giants of our youth, we can still walk in their footsteps.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.