“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” – Luke 11:2-4
One of my favorite movies is “Life”, which features the brilliance of Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. It tells the story of two friends framed for a crime they didn’t commit, and how they survive the world of incarceration over a span of generations. A particular scene features Bokeem Woodbine as “Can’t Get Right.” He secretly gets the daughter of the warden pregnant, and in a fury, the warden lines the inmates up to uncover the culprit. To come to his defense, all of the inmates hilariously admit to being the father, speaking to her “looseness” and their solidarity to each other. The late great Bernie Mac finally screams “I’m Da Pappy!” and everyone roars in laughter. Yet, we are sometimes like the warden…we don’t find the subject of fatherhood quite as funny.
God is referred to times in the King James Version of the Bible as Father. For someone who grew up with a father in the home, the concept of God as a father is easy to ascertain. We understand the varied forms of discipline, pride, defense, preparation, and promotion that come with fatherhood. However, for those who have never understood the role and relationship of a humanly father, it is extremely hard to conceive. When the Lord’s Prayer begins with “Our Father, which art in Heaven,” those who have not had good rapport with a father “who art in Earth” seem to immediately disassociate the power in that statement. Declaring someone a father is MUCH more than an acknowledgement of one’s ability to procreate. It means, in its rawest of forms, “You…YOU are the one I trust to get me to where I am to be. All of my allegiance, all of my faith, all of my trust is in your ability to not just create me, but sustain me…” This is often missed.
Perhaps you had an absentee father. Perhaps your father was emotionally unavailable, or had no example before him to show you how to live. What comforts us in the space after that truth is one greater. The Father of all nations, Abba, has kept you from eternity, entrusted your tangibility into the hands of two Earth vessels to GET you here, and now watches over you daily, waiting for you to acknowledge Him. Others have failed. Some have stepped up like the men in “Life” to cover your faults. Yet there is One above all who BOLDLY declares over you, “I’m Da Pappy! I am The One who calls you the apple of My eye, and the very brilliance of My creation! Give Me a chance. Don’t base your love for Me on the failures of others. I will never let you down. I will never leave you. I will comfort you. And I brag on you daily. Yes, I am, indeed, The Pappy!” Happy Father’s Day, Abba Father!
Cleo Dailey, III is a freelance writer and aspiring author who has written for several city and nation-wide publications. He is currently studying to obtain a degree in both English and Clinical Psychology, and the Minister of Music for New Life Christian Church in Peoria, IL.