My friend Scott Hodge posted this great thought on his blog a couple days ago. Scott tragically lost his dad a couple of short years ago. Scott’s dad was a pastor in Aurora and actually performed the marriage ceremony for my sister and her husband in 1997 – even though Scott and I didn’t meet till last year.
Anyway, my dad walked out of my life on May 14, 1987. He wasn’t a great father before that, but he was absent after that day in May. I have only seen him a few brief times since, as he currently roams Southern California.
The same day I saw Scott’s post, I was thinking about my own dad… how sad it was that Scott lost his dad, but thankful that he had such a great model for so many years. Thinking about my own father-loss and how God has seen to take care of me made me ponder how many people either lost their fathers or never knew them. That’s when I stumbled upon Don Miller’s newest book To Own A Dragon. He talks about how God fathers those of us to don’t have a father around to affirm us, guide us in our own life skills, and generally do fatherly things. It is a great read, particularly for guys without fathers. Don explains that he doesn’t think father-loss is harder on men than women, but that since he is writing from personal example, fellas would probably glean more from this book. He comments on the men’s movement – particularly how so many people try to define manhood as having this quality or that quality – when in reality, manhood is about DNA and anatomy – if God made you male, you are a man, because God has spoken, and that is that! No bar to reach, mark to hit – if God made you male, you are a man whether you had a father figure or not. So many of the guys my age still trying to win the approval of a MIA dad could benefit from this great book.
Anyway – thanks Scott for a great post, and thanks to Don for a wonderful book. As I am the father to 3 sons, I am always wondering what it would be like to have a Dad to ask questions of, seek guidance from, or be affirmed by. To Own A Dragon helped me on that journey.