Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fathering for the Fatherless

This selection from John Eldredge's book Fathered by God profoundly spoke to me this week, as I've been challenged in new ways to trust that God is a good Father. I haven't been writing or reading much since we moved to Spokane, WA on July 15 due to busyness in moving in and finding work. I hope to get back into some kind of reading/writing rhythm!

You are the son of a kind, strong, and engaged Father, a Father wise enough to guide you in the Way, generous enough to provide for your journey, offering to walk with you every step. 
This is perhaps the hardest thing for us to believe—really believe, down deep in our hearts, so that it changes us forever, changes the way we approach each day. 
I believe this is the core issue of our shared dilemma. We just don't believe it. Our core assumptions about the world boil down to this: We are on our own to make life work. We are not watched over. We are not cared for. When we are hit with a problem, we have to figure it out ourselves, or just take the hit. If anything good is going to come our way, we're the ones who are going to have to arrange for it. Many of us have called upon God as Father, but, frankly, he doesn't seem to have heard. We're not sure why. Maybe we didn't do it right. Maybe he's about more important matters. Whatever the reason, our experience of this world has framed our approach to life. We believe we are fatherless. 
Whatever life has taught us, and though we may not have put it into these exact words, we feel that we are alone. Simply look at the way men live. If I were to give an honest assessment of my life for the past thirty years, I'd have to confess the bulk of it as Striving and Indulging. Pushing myself hard to excel, taking on the battles that come to me with determination but also with a fear-based drivenness, believing deep down inside that there is no one I can trust to come through for me. Striving. And then, arranging for little pleasures along the way to help ease the pain of the drivenness and loneliness. Dinners out, adventure gear. Indulging. A fatherless way to live.

Beauty Treatments

During a recent time of unemployment, where I was cast afresh upon God and his care in radical ways (though I was unemployed I was never uncared for), Jesus is healing our praying imaginations from a long dark night in Louisville, KY (15 yrs).

"Without real communication from God, our view of the world is very impersonal, however glorious we may find creation. But there is all the difference in the world between believing that this is our Father's world...and having confidence based in experience that the Father's face is turned toward us and shining on us, whether in the dark of night or the brightness of the day, and that he speaks to us individually,"

Dallas Willard, Hearing God, 242

"God's love is manifest in the landscape as in a face."
John Muir, Meditations of John Muir, 17.