Thursday, 29 August 2013

A father's heart

'I would have loved my dad to have been disappointed with me!'  It was one of those statements that needed to be explained.  He said that his dad simply did not care about him.  He cared too little to be disappointed.  His leaving cert results had been fantastic, but he got the same reaction than if he had failed every subject - no reaction!  The pain still lives with him.  A father-wound.

Compare this to a moving story told by Mark Stibbe:
A few years before my adoptive father died, he asked to see me .  I went into his study and we sat together.  He was not well at all and his thoughts were much concerned with dying and death.  I remember so vividly the questions he asked me.
'Son, is there time as we know it in heaven?'
I remember replying that I doubted it.  It seemed to me then and it seems to me now that heaven is a dimension beyond space and time ... This provoked a second question.
'If there is no time in heaven, there must be no consciousness of time passing, and that means there can be no sense of waiting for something future to come to pass.'
I remember replying that this seemed logical, though heaven's mysteries cannot be unlocked by the key of logic alone.
Then Dad asked me his final question.
'If there is no time in heaven, and there is no consciousness of waiting, won't that mean that when I die I won't have to wait for you in heaven, even though you are still living here on earth?'
That was some question!
The questions Mark Stibbes's dad was asking were questions of a father who cared; the questions of a man who dreaded being parted from his son; the questions of a man who did not want to have to wait to be reunited with his beloved child.  They were questions that revealed what a father-heart ought to be like.

1 comment:

Brian McFarland said...

Thanks Paul for this. Very thought provoking.