Encouragement for the Journey 7 September 2014

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 7 September 2014

Encouragement for the Journey

Fathers Day (resized)

Greetings fellow traveller,

Today at our KIDS N ALL we celebrate Father’s Day. Mention the word Father, and all kinds of memories and images may filter into our awareness. I remember the day I became a father. It was 12 August 1970.  I was still in the Liverpool Police working what was called evening patrols, from 6.00 pm to 2 am and my shift sergeant gave me time off to be with Fleur, provided I returned to duty.

After a number of false starts, Fleur went into the Liverpool Maternity Hospital and that evening after a long period in labour, Fleur gave birth to our first-born son Daniel. He had arrived into our life and I was now a father.

I was never given any training courses on being a father and I can’t recall reading any books. It just happened, or did it. Looking back the only model for being a father was my father. He was raised in small mining village in Yorkshire, England, he experienced an abusive childhood, and for his fourteenth birthday, he went to work down ‘pit’ and his birthday present was to work with a pit pony. He worked down that coalmine until he was twenty-one, then he joined the British Army serving in India and Burma during World War 2. He was a hard workingman whose philosophy, was to not spare his army belt connecting with my rear end. Yet, he was my father, and he died too young.

Of course the experience we have of our father is unique to us, for some they never knew their father, while for others he was a most wonderful man, then for others he was the one who left them emotionally scarred from abuse.

It is reasonable then, that we may unconsciously project our experience of our father onto the images and metaphors, we may have of God.

Even though we hear that God is love, compassionate and gracious. If our experience of our father has not been like that, we may still relate to God, through the images of our experiences with our own father. Of course this does not have to be so, and through awareness and new understanding we can relate to God in and through different images and metaphors, which may sustain and be helpful for our spiritual journey. Like: Divine Mystery, Sacred One, Ground of our Being, which convey different images than father.

What images and metaphors are helpful for you?

Meanwhile Peace and courage

Alf