When I was four years old, I broke my collarbone. I fell off my bed, landed on my shoulder, and heard a snap. In my four short years of life, I had never felt anything like the excruciating pain suddenly pulsating through my body. Immediately, I began crying. My older sister and my mom ran into my bedroom. My mom called my dad at work to let him know what happened, and then my mom rushed me to the emergency room.
And I just remember crying and crying and crying. My mom tried to comfort me. My sister tried to help me. The nurses tried to reassure me everything was going to be okay. But it didn’t help. I just kept crying and crying and crying. I cried the whole car trip to the hospital. I cried the whole time I was in the waiting room. I cried the whole time I was in the hospital room. I cried the whole time the nurses prepped me for X-Rays.
And then it happened. My dad flung open the doors to the hospital room, still in his work clothes. He had left work early and rushed to the emergency room to get to me. He walked into the room; His eyes met mine, and immediately, I stopped crying. I was still hurting and in pain, but my father’s strong and loving presence in the room changed everything for me. My dad walked into my room, and when he walked in, fear walked out.
That, my friends, is the power of a father’s presence in our lives. We need it. It doesn’t matter how old we are or how tough we are or how smart we or how capable we are; we all need to know dad is in the room.
For some of us, sadly, dad wasn’t. He never even bothered to show up. For some of us, dad was in the room, but He’s not anymore, and all we can cling to for comfort are fading memories and lingering sentiments. For some of us, dad showed up, but his presence didn’t bring safety and reassurance. It brought dysfunction and abuse and strife and pain. For some of us, dad was in the room, but somehow even though we shared the same space, we were miles apart. And for some us fortunate ones, dad’s presence in the room was a constant source of strength, and he not only taught us how to be brave, but also how to be good and do good in this world.
Relationships with our fathers are usually complicated. Fathers are complex creatures, flawed heroes with an undeniable and unrivaled power to shape a child’s identity and destiny. The stories their presence (or lack thereof) weave into our lives run deep. Sometimes, it feels like one huge knot we are constantly trying to untangle. At other times, it feels like a tapestry of the divine woven into our daily existence.
This Father’s Day, dear reader, whatever the complications, the challenges, and the celebrations with your dad may be, I pray you know that there is One whose presence is even greater and constant in the life of your room. I hope you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your Heavenly Father has walked into the room of your life, that He has always been there in the highs and in the lows; that One look from Him can calm the raging storm of your soul and heal the deepest wounds of your heart; that one word from Him can ignite hope deep within and breathe bravery into your very lungs; that One conversation with Him can deposit wisdom for your world and inexpressible joy in your current circumstances. In the room of your life, I hope you know the sheer happiness of having Him extravagantly cheer you on, boldly believe in you, lavishly love you, relentlessly provide for you, and wildly protect you. I hope you know this Father’s Day, and always, that Your Heavenly Father is in your room. And the moment you realize that, the moment you see that He has walked in, that fear would walk right out.