-an article for the June 2007 Deep Cove Crier
This Father’s Day, I am so grateful to both have a father and be a father. I have had a father for 52 years and been a father for 26 years.
My first Deep Cove Crier Father’s Day article was 18 years ago in 1989. I had only been a father for six years at that point. In 1910 a special Sunday to pay tribute to fathers was set aside by the Ministerial Society of Spokane, Washington at the suggestion of Mrs. John Bruce Dodd. This was just 3 years after the kickoff of the enormously popular Mother's Day. In 1911, Miss Jane Addams of Chicago, the well-known social worker of Hull House, stirred up Chicago with the same idea. "Poor father has been left out in the cold:' she said. "He doesn't get much recognition".
There seems to be few people who cheer for fathers. In the 1990 Deep Cove Crier, I commented that “too often, today's fathers are portrayed as absent, ineffective, inconsistent, abusive, or weak. It’s time to build up our fathers, not tear them down. Fathers, we honour and appreciate you. We respect your hard work and your commitment to your wife and children. We value your desire to make time for your family, and to nourish your wife. Your steadfastness and dedication are a real source of security and joy to the families of our community.”
Why are fathers so significant in each of our lives? As I mentioned in the 1991 Deep Cove Crier, fathers are significant, because they represent the world beyond, the unknown beyond the mother's arms, the halfway house from childhood to adulthood. When there is no father to serve as a bridge into adulthood, adolescence can be a turbulent time.
What do I particularly value about my father? It is his gift of stability. As I said in the 1994 Deep Cove Crier, my father is "a rock". Whenever I need help, he is always there for me.
I love my father. My best friend Jesus loves his Father. I love my father because he first loved me. Jesus said: “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hands.” (John 3:35). My father has generously poured his life into me over many years. Jesus said: “The Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.” When Jesus was teaching his disciples how to pray, his very first words were ‘Our Father’. He called God ‘Father’ 191 times in the Good Book, more than anyone had ever done before. This Father’s Day, may the Son show you how much the Father really loves you.
The Reverend Ed Hird
Rector, St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver, BC
Anglican Coalition in Canada