This Sunday is Father’s Day. It seems mundane and unimportant compared to the riots and protests against racism that are rocking the world, not to mention the presence of a deadly pandemic that we haven’t quite learned to live with yet, but I wonder? Since many these days, seem intent on pulling down the past, disappearing the fathers (and mothers) of our nation, indeed, of the world, perhaps reflecting on this day dedicated to gratitude for dads everywhere is just what we need.
When I was a little girl, my father was the center of my life. I remember thinking that if something happened to him, I wouldn’t even be able to breathe. He taught me to ride and set the example that made me a voracious reader. He took me hunting and taught me to shoot. He gave me a profound appreciation for the land and all things natural and he showed me God. I can’t remember a time when we were out in the mountains or fields, that he didn’t stop and give thanks for all that God had given us and reflect on all that God must be in light of God’s amazing creation set there before us. He rarely went to church. I never heard him pray, but I knew that God was a pervading reality in his life that he wanted me to share.
My father taught me to think and to question and to put my thoughts into words and to stand up for myself and what I believed. He served in the army during WWII, but told me his father “rightly” believed the war to be senseless, that it wouldn’t be the “war to end all wars” no matter what anyone said. I was astonished that anyone in the United States was unsupportive of this great cause, but I remember my father saying that his father had wished him well when he left and said to him, “If you are going to go, do a good job.” My father (and my uncle) joined a cause their father didn’t believe in and still he respected them and didn’t try to change their minds. It was both a puzzle and a revelation. He and my grandmother gave my father a Bible to take with him that my father later gave to me. Every time I see it I remember that love respects another’s choices.
My father set high expectations of us all, and he loved an adventure. He told great stories and passed this gift to us. He was smart and often wise, but there were times when I knew that he was wrong. Like the time he told me that having sex before marriage was a bad idea because then that person wouldn’t marry you. I remember knowing when he said that, that I wasn’t interested in marrying a dumb boy like that anyway! He also explained to me that gay and lesbian people couldn’t hold government jobs because they could be blackmailed into doing bad things. Well, I could see a clear and simple solution to that. What if people stopped keeping secrets? If everyone knew no one could be blackmailed! I came to learn, as all children do, that parents are fallible, not right about everything, not always loving and forgiving, wise and wonderful. He was, like all parents are, a living, breathing combination of the good, the bad, and the ugly. He often demanded too much, punished too harshly. He was unfaithful to my mother. He couldn’t keep money in the bank to save his soul , he was late for absolutely everything and in later years his thinking, especially about religion, seemed rigid and hurtful. In the end, he chose to live his last years with a woman who had no space or time for his children.
So, on this father’s day, I, like children everywhere, have a choice to make. Will I be grateful and give thanks for all that this man was and gave to me and the world, or will I condemn him for not giving me that which he didn’t have? The truth about my dad, and probably yours, is that he created a space and opportunity in me to be more than he was. He set the stage and opened the doors for my life to go well beyond the boundaries that defined his own. It is, in the end, what Jesus did there on the cross. And I am truly grateful.
This Sunday we are honoring Garrison McGrath who has just graduated from high school. He is one of two members of Grace to graduate this year. Bring your congratulations and best wishes to worship on Sunday when we will give thanks to God for this young man and all he has achieved and pray blessings on his life ahead!
Join the Evangelism Team.
Mia+ was called to Grace to help us faithfully connect with and embrace the new people God is calling to our parish. Now that the stay-at-home order is lifted, we can get to work! We need 5-6 people to discern and brainstorm. Meetings will be in person or via Zoom. Please let Mia+ know if you are interested at RevMia20@gmail.com or 208-860-7967.
Paradise Point in a Box!
The bishop has asked us to remind you that Paradise Point is offering Camp in a Box this summer. The cost is $35-45 per box, for all the stuff you need to have camp at home and online. Check out the website to find the box that's best for you!
Adventure Club went to the Owyhee Museum at Murphy and the Cleo Swayne museum and nature walk this week. It was great fun! Our next hike is Wednesday, July 1. We are will either go to Celebration park or one of the Boise hill trails. We want to check out Draggin Wing farm and see how indigenous plant gardens might be part of our landscape here at Grace. How to be good stewards that encourage native plants and insects is something we all need to know more about.
If you didn't sign up for book club, it's not too late! Contact Rev. Mia and pick up your book at church or from the office.
Angela Lerena's ordination will be scheduled soon. (She will know the date on Tuesday.) Her diocese is not allowing any gatherings so there will be minimal people in attendance. I think we need to think of a way of sending her our good wishes by video, so let's think of what that might look like.