Our Father Who Art in Heaven

I always consistently find that it is children who ask the most thought-provoking questions.  During the prayer, “Our Father who art in Heaven”, I heard one of the children in the Church in front of me, who could not have been more than four or five years old, turn to her mother and ask her “Who is the Father in Heaven?”  Her mother informed her that the word “Father” was referring to God, who is Father to everybody.  To which, the child asked, “Where is everybody’s mother?”

I could not hear her mother’s response due to the wail of another child but judging visually by the interaction between mother and child, she probably had been admonished to be silent.

Father’s day is the perfect day to reflect on the meaning of the word father.  And a child’s innocent question makes me think as to why in the major monotheistic religions in the world, God is frequently, if not solely, described as a father.  It is a testament of honour to the special qualities of a father.

I have found that the people, who truly understand and appreciate things in life, are also the same people who have lost these very things.  I was once talking to an intelligent young man going down the wrong path in life.  He was born in a fatherless house with a non-existent alcoholic mother.  He said something that stayed with me because it was said from the heart.  We had been discussing the trajectory of his life and how he got there and he said to me, “I don’t know? maybe if I had a father who loved me I would not be where I am right now”

His words were speaking of guidance.  His words were speaking about a good father.  His were speaking to the effect of a father’s love.

Going back to my own childhood, I will always remember my father for his confidence in me, for his ardent support, for his father’s hugs that lifted me up in the air and kept my spirits soaring even higher, for his guidance and for his love.

There is something about a father’s guiding love that complements a mother’s beautiful love of nurturance.  Together they make up the two halves to a perfect circle.

And perfection, of course, is as close as you can get to God.

Happy Father’s Day

Author: Tanya Pinto- Canada