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Thoughts on Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming. I’m both a son who has a father and a father who has two sons. So, I’m a fan. I concede that the day may well have been engineered by those devious marketers at Hallmark and American Greetings; but as my wife Miska likes to say, we Colliers will take any excuse to celebrate.

And, no mistake, fatherhood is something worth celebrating.

Our world is an immensely disconnected place. Families and relationships and history and dreams die far too easily. Whether we have put words to our desires or not, if we peer deeply enough, we find that most of us are looking for roots, for some stable anchor telling us that, even though the whole world is spinning wildly, one simple, solid place remains. When we look toward a father, I think we are looking for something like that.

I also think we are looking for a voice to tell us who we are, to tell us that the insanity and the fear and the disappointment and the shame all around us isn’t the deepest truth in our story. Our dads are the men who look in our eyes in ways only they can and tell us what our heart longs to know: that we are strong or beautiful or worth knowing – or just that we are going to make it in this world.

I remember the grace my dad spoke to me when, on the first night I took out the family car alone, I scratched the side up before I even got out of the driveway. He just looked at it, said it was no big deal and told me to have a good time. That simple act told me that his belief in me as his son was stronger than any dent, more important than money. I’ve never forgotten that night. It spoke to my soul.

I want to speak to my son’s souls the same way. I want to tell Wyatt how much I admire his endless questions and his insatiable desire. I want to tell Seth that I find runaway joy in his enthusiasm and his dancing and the reckless way he throws himself into life. I love my boys, and I want them to feel the weight of my love. I want them to know they can never escape it.

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For some, I know this day is painful. You have no father. Or worse, your father has brought you immense pain. That steady, solid place, that voice that tells you who you truly are – you have never known this. And your soul bears the scar.

You must remember: God is father to the fatherless (Psalm 68.5). He is your strong place. His heart longs to speak your true name. To have no father is to be one for whom God himself intervenes. Each of us were made to know a father’s love. If our human experience has failed us, God, our truest Father, will not.

Winn is a writer and pastor. He is the author of Restless Faith and the recent release, Let God: The Transforming Wisdom of Francois Fenelon. Winn is married to his best friend Miska and has two rabble-rousing sons, Wyatt and Seth. You can find out more about Winn by downloading this interview or by hopping over to winncollier.com.

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