This past week we witnessed once again the effects of anger and hatred run amuck with the killing of 49 people in Orlando, Florida. And once again we find ourselves wondering what we can do in the face of such evil. It is all too easy to give into fear and despair and in our fears to seek simple answers and to find someone to blame. Jesus shows us the way. In the first instance, he refused to run away from the worst experiences of life. And then he taught us how to transform hatred and evil into life. How do we do this? Mahatma Gandhi perhaps said it best when he said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Today we celebrate Father’s Day. We need fathers to be the energy of Jesus in our world. Young boys, and in fact all of us, need good father energy. All fathers want to give that energy to their children. Some do that well, but often times, fathers do not know how to give that energy because they have not be “fathered themselves.” The truth is that for the vast majority of people, we get this good father energy from a multitude of people. “It takes a village to raise a child,” says the African Proverb. Thomas Merton , in the famous prayer he wrote, said “I do not know if I am doing God’s will, but I have the desire to do it and I believe that this desire does, in fact, please God. And I hope I have that desire in all that I do” I believe all fathers have the desire to be good fathers.
What does good father energy look like? In part in has the energy of the great warrior who possesses great courage and will do what it takes to get the job done. It’s the energy that enables people to feel the fear in life, but not give into the fear. It’s the energy that enables a person to “put their big-boy pants on” and do what is necessary. They will pay any price, bear any burden to achieve their goals.
Good father energy also has the wisdom of the magician. It’s the ability to be aware of everything around us. It’s the ability to be, as Jesus said, gentle as a lamb and cunning as a wolf. Men who have this energy have a great BS meter—they recognize BS when they see it and are not sucked into it.
Good father energy also has the passion of a great lover. The have a passion for life. They notice things, not just with their head, but with their heart as well. They can enjoy the immense beauty of a sunrise and at the same time sit in tears with those who are in pain and suffering. They embrace it all without fear.
Good father energy also has the wisdom of a great King. A good father brings a sense of calmness especially to chaotic situations. They can see others with all their weaknesses and at the same time see their talents and work to honor these talents. King energy expresses itself when a man does what is needed so that his wife and children can prosper. It’s the kind of energy that enables him to keep his cool when everyone around him is losing theirs. It is the voice of calm and reassurance. It is an encouraging word in a time of chaos and struggle. It’s the energy that seeks peace and stability.
So today we give thanks for all those who have “fathered” us with their energy. If we are lucky, that will come from one person, but for most of us, it will come from many fathers. And the common tread among all these fathers, is their willingness to offer the life energy they have in the best way that they can. That gift, given in love, is priceless and we are all blessed because of it.