10 June, Wednesday — Not Forsaken

Wednesday of Week 10 in Ordinary Time

1 Kgs 18:20-39
Mt 5:17-19

The Lord is God

At one of my recent ministry Zoom sessions, we were all asked to write down one word which described God to us. As I reflected, the word ‘Father’ kept coming up because I was midway through reading ‘Not Forsaken’, written by a well-known American pastor. The stories in each chapter kept bringing up alternating flashbacks which showed me how God, and my deceased father, had been ever-present through my ups and downs. I found it interesting that my earthly father was there for my victories, while God had clearly been there during my down periods.

Dad, in his later years, had tried going through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) but never completed the year. He was never one for religion and lived for his family, and simply enjoyed life. When the time came, and mum requested for me to find a priest to baptise him in the hospital, I hesitated for a while before calling a friend. At that time, I recall thinking that I was doing it to fulfil mum’s wish, but was it what dad wanted?

It was while I was reflecting on today’s reading, recalling the moments in my life, that I had my ‘a-ha’ moment. It dawned on me that I had been the one who brought both my fathers together in that hospital, on the day my earthly father left us. God had not forsaken even my earthly father and had embraced him fully. Much later, I asked my priest friend if it mattered whether dad wasn’t fully conscious during the blessing. He remarked that the fact he had chosen to go through RCIA was enough because he had shown his desire then.

Brothers and sisters, I am comforted by the fact that I now have two fathers in heaven, watching over me. I have shared before about how when I play my violin for P&W sessions, I can feel my dad’s presence smiling contentedly over me. Whatever his shortcomings during his earthly life, whatever anger I had felt towards him, whatever doubts and anxieties I had about living in his shadow for a long time — they all melted away when he met my heavenly Father. I have begun to appreciate why God chose this man to be my father, who was always trying his best to celebrate my accomplishments and victories. He may have missed my graduation ceremony three decades ago, but I now know that in his heart, he was always proud of me.

I will never know the joys and disappointments of being a father. But through God, I have come to know the love of a father. My hope is that when I finally am reunited with dad again, I can thank him properly for never forsaking me. And we can share an eternity together with OUR heavenly father.

 (Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Abba Father, for the gift of our fathers here on earth.

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