by Annette Bridges. ©2009. All rights reserved.

Father’s Day is a time to commemorate and celebrate the fathers and father figures in our lives. They include stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, father-in-laws, and big brothers – all those who’ve had a role in shaping our life. The word father has also often been used to honor spiritual leaders and inventors throughout history. And certainly many pray to our divine Father every day of the year.

I’ve been thinking about my dad. Even though he passed on when I was young, I have very vivid—some very endearing—memories. Remembering the good took me years because my brief time with him was sometimes filled with sadness—with my dad angry, indifferent, or absent from the scene altogether. He and my mom went through a volatile divorce about a year before he died. Bad memories, however, have become fewer through my prayers to reflect and focus on the good. The balance of memories has been readjusted. This healing journey has brought me much peace.

Even though I can’t spend Father’s Day with my dad in person, nothing makes me feel closer to him than when I think of us both as children of the same divine Parent. I was introduced to Christian Science around the time my dad passed on. Learning that God was always present with me and all of His children, including my dad, was very comforting to me back then, and is now. In fact, nothing is more reassuring and strengthening than when I ponder and feel our Father’s love and presence.

I remember feeling self-assured and encouraged by his confidence in me.

As I recall a few cherished moments with my dad, some Bible verses also come to mind, reminding me that our Father is indeed always caring for and loving both me and my dad (and you and yours) throughout eternity.

“Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee ….” (II Chronicles 9:8)

I loved watching television with my dad—albeit a black and white one in those days. One of my greatest afternoon delights was when my dad came home from work and invited me to watch his favorite talk show with him. I can’t say how many times I watched TV with him, but apparently it was meaningful for me to snuggle with him on the sofa. I remember feeling wanted and loved in his warm embrace.

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

One of my early childhood dreams was to be a professional singer and musician—not that I had any special talent for either. I remember very well the day my parents bought me a baritone ukulele like my fourth-grade teacher’s. My dad set up a music stand in my room that displayed a chord instruction book. After a few suggestions from him, he left me alone to self-teach. I remember feeling self-assured and encouraged by his confidence in me.

“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23)

It’s probably a true statement to say we all want, like, and need to be needed. One of my fondest memories of my dad is when he asked me to help him mix up concrete. He was making a decorative brick wall around our back patio at our new house. My job was to scoop the cups of concrete mix. I remember how important I felt as I fulfilled my duties and how pleased my dad was with my work. His faith in me made me believe I could do anything.

Perhaps my most indelible memory of my dad is holding his hand.

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: ….” (Jeremiah 31:3)

And then there were the times when all I needed to feel safe and sound was to hold my daddy’s hand. For a while, the six members of my family shared a two-bedroom apartment. During this time, my bed was parallel to my parents’. I remember many nights when I was afraid in the dark, but all my fears disappeared as soon as I reached across the aisle between our beds to grab my dad’s hand. His strong hand made me feel protected and invincible. And again, I felt loved.

Children may not always understand their dads. We may get very little time to know them. We may sometimes disagree with them. We may even want to be very different from them. But I like to believe that, at least most of the time, our fathers love us. Certainly, we all have a divine Father who does.

Perhaps my most indelible memory of my dad is holding his hand. I’m looking at a photo right now that is on the bookcase in front of my desk. I’m in my Easter dress and bonnet, standing beside my dad and holding his hand. So in the words of singer Holly Dunn – “I’ll always remember the love in Daddy’s hands.” And I’ll never take for granted the love that is always embracing us all from our Father-Mother God.