What do most fathers have in common?
One of the gifts I have received in working for Mission Doctors is seeing countless fathers caring for their families around the world.
- A father in Zimbabwe who walked three hours every other week to be bring the funds for his child’s formula after his wife died in childbirth.
- The father in Peru who rowed the boat all night to get to the hospital with his wife in labor.
- The father in Uganda who sits quietly at the bedside of a sick child, learning to help reduce his malaria fever with cool clothes.
- A father in Cameroon whose adult sons have lovingly brought him for care.
What is the common denominator? LOVE.
As a daughter, wife and mother, I am perhaps not the most qualified to write about Father’s day, except from the perspective of a child or partner, or as a witness to this relationship whose foundation is love.
As a child, I was blessed with a father who loved our family, who worked very hard, read us poetry on Sunday nights, was generous to a fault (he gave away my bike on more than one occasion), was a ‘big’ personality who was loved by all who worked for him, or knew him. He shared his faith with us in quiet ways, 6:00 am Mass on Sunday. His rosary by the nightstand, and the cross he wore while serving in North Africa during WWII.
As a spouse and mother, I am blessed with a husband who has been a good father to our four children and is now the much beloved ‘PopPop’ to our grandchildren. He too worked hard, has shared his faith with me and our children in quiet ways as we walk the journey of life together.
So, as Father’s Day approaches I think of my father and my husband and now I also see two of our sons and our son-in-law as proud and loving dads.
I also think of all the fathers I have seen around the world.
The vital role a father plays in the life of a child can never be understated, regardless how that is expressed. If they are quietly providing for their family, working in a field or if they are life of the party; if they are fans of sports of chess; if they are reading to their child, or teaching her to drive.
The common denominator is LOVE.
Thank you to all the fathers in our lives who share your life, your love and your faith.
May our loving Father in heaven richly reward all fathers for their care and give them the strength in this life to be a witness of love and service.