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© Gail Underwood Parker

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Caring Heart: Good Fathers

Here in Maine yesterday there was a funeral for a beloved kindergarten teacher and her two elementary school children..all three killed by a separated husband who was about to go on trial for previous spousal abuse.  He then killed himself.  It has left a community reeling, an elementary school and its students shaken to the core, and our whole state desperate to find a more meaningful way to both reduce domestic abuse and protect its families. I know it is not just men who abuse, but since it is Father's Day today I have been unable to shake this story, so... I offer this meditation.

In praise and search of good fathers

Dear God,  the father of us all, we need good fathers.  We have many good fathers.  But we have others who are not.  You designed "father" to be a model of what it means to be loved and cared for with unending compassion, instruction, guidance, and love.  Yet, so many families are left without that model in their lives.  Sons who have to look outside their family for a model of what kind of father to be.  Daughters who are too little or too much the apple of their father's eyes.  We thank you for all the wonderful fathers who are a blessing in their families.  We thank you for all the men who step up [regardless of genetics or age] to be father figures for children who are desperately needing that guidance... just because they are needed.  We thank you for mothers who are trying to be both mother and father to their children. We thank you, and yet we dare to ask for more men who are fathers in your image.  We ask that men who are not may learn to change, to be more, to be better.  For the wives, for the children, for the world... we search for and we praise good fathers.  

"The Caring Heart Speaks: Meditations for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents" by Gail Underwood Parker   Artwork by Anna Parker David from the book cover. 

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