A young father-to-be was pacing back and forth, wringing his hands in the hospital corridor while his wife was in labor. His stomach was tied up in knots of fear and anxiety. Beads of perspiration were dripping from his brow.
Finally at 4:00 AM a nurse popped out of the delivery room and announced, “Congratulations, Sir! You now have a beautiful little daughter!” He dropped his hands and became limp as he blurted out: “Oh, thank God, it’s a girl! She’ll never have to go through the agony I’ve had to go through tonight!”
MYOPIC!! This father surely suffered from myopia – nearsightedness. Didn’t he have the slightest idea of what his wife was going through in labor?
Don’t we all suffer from myopia until we change our location? When we visit or are a patient in a hospital or a nursing home we often say: “Boy I don’t have it so bad after all, compared to some of the other people around me.”
I know I suffered from myopia when I went to Haiti and visited the materially poor who only earn a dollar or two a day. I realized that a third of the people on earth are in a similar situation.
On this Father’s Day we realize that fathers continually struggle with myopia – to see more and to be more for the sake of their children and their family.
One father had his doubts about how he was doing as a father. His own dad was mostly a shadow in his life growing up. His father worked long hours and everybody thought he was a great guy. But he was never home. So the son, who was now a father himself, wanted to be closer to his children, but he wasn’t always sure how to make this happen.
One evening when his wife was away, he had to put his five-year old son to bed. He was about to lift him into bed when the child said, “But Daddy, I have to say my prayers.” He knelt down beside his bed and prayed, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” And then he added, “Dear God, make me a great, big, good man, like my Daddy, Amen.”
Within a few minutes the boy was in bed and asleep. The father then knelt down next to his son and prayed, “Dear Lord, make me a great, big, good man, like my boy thinks I am.”
Prayers like that will always be answered. Prayers like that help us to be more and more like Jesus. Look at how well Jesus knows us and loves us. In today’s Gospel (Matthew 9:36-10:18) we see that Jesus’ heart is moved with pity for you and me whenever we are in trouble and feel abandoned.
Jesus says, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” I like to translate these words: “What you have been given as a gift, now give as a gift.” I say this to myself many times every day! “Laz, what you have been given as a gift, now give as a gift.” These words of Jesus keep me going all day so much better that cups of coffee!!
Thanks to Tima Miroshnichenko for the photo.
A Happy and a Blessed Father’s Day to all Dads, Step-Dads, Grand Dads and all the other Special Men in our life who have helped us to be the persons we are today.
Please offer a special prayer for YOUR father today, whether he is living or deceased….and all the other Special Men in YOUR life.
BE WHO GOD WANTS YOU TO BE, NOT WHAT OTHERS WANT TO SEE!!