I opened my phone again. Read the message. Typed a short response.
I needed to stop. The service was going to start soon. Didn’t want to be a bad example texting in church. My thoughts flashed to all the jr. and sr. high schoolers sitting behind me. But he was my best friend. And I wanted to keep texting him.
He abruptly changed the subject.
“It’s Father’s Day.” He said.
“Yes?” Was he just stating facts?
His response made my heart sink.
“I hate this day.”
My mind thought of his biological father- a man who only in the past few years had come into his life. And by ‘come into his life,’ I mean ‘became friends with him on Facebook and shoots him a text on his birthday.’
I thought of his step father. I don’t really have much to say about him. He wasn’t a good guy.
I thought of his current step father. Barely. As of a couple of months. Too late now. He’s alread grown.
So, yeah, I get why he hates this day. I get why he can’t stand it when he scrolls through the Facebook posts of all the dads and all of their children saying how great they are. I get why he feels like a part of him is missing. I get how empty he must feel today.
And no, I don’t really, truly get it. Because I have a dad. And, yes, he’s difficult. Yes, he’s far from perfect. And yes, a lot of other things that I’ll not put on here for various reasons. But I have a dad. I always have.
It just breaks my heart. My best friend is only one small cry in the midst of the screaming children being raised without their fathers. CHILDREN NEED THEIR DADS. I could go on and on and on with statistics about how destructive it is for a child to have an absent father. But, here’s the thing…
Until we, as a society, realize that marriage is not a game… Until we realize divorce shouldn’t just come because it can…. Until we realize relationships take work, and a lot at that….
Until women let their men be men… Until men decide to step up and fully accept responsibility for their families…. Until parents really try to raise good children…. Until we begin to prioritize people over things… Until we learn to love at its fullest…. Until we realize love is not a word, it’s an action….
Then we’re going to have broken people. Broken families. Broken children.
So many broken children who, today, had no one to say “happy Father’s Day” to….
If there’s someone near you who doesn’t have a dad who’s really and truly present in their lives (and the chances are that you do), pour your love and encouragement out on them today.
My word…. How many broken people are out there? How many people have said those words?
“I hate this day.”
Well, my friend… I think I do too.