Written by Fr. Dale Minor - The Reclaim Ministry
If you are a father, perhaps you have fond memories of your children learning to talk. Perhaps their mother pointed to you and asked them, “Who is this?” Maybe it took some prompting; “Is that daddy?” before you finally heard the word, “Dada.” Later, there may have been a time when you went to pick your child up at a playground or at school and someone pointed to you and asked, “Who is that man?” and you heard the words proudly spoken, “That’s my Dad!”
It is a natural thing, in most households, for a solid and loving relationship to develop between father and son or father and daughter, a relationship often expressed with pride; “that’s my son,” or “that’s my Dad.” And such a relationship is best developed in the example of God as being our Father. It is not by accident that we look to the heavens, seek out the Creator of the universe, try to define that which is beyond what no human mind can fully perceive, and call Him Father. For that word defines what we really desire of our earthly fathers, -- the one who can fix all hurts, heal all wounds, teach all things, offer wise counsel, and above all, hold us close and let us know we are loved. Yes, we know that our fathers aren’t supermen. At least, after we have matured a little ourselves, we know this. But for most of us, they are super. -- “That’s him, He’s my Dad!”
We never get too old to need our fathers. How many of us have, after losing our fathers, thought to ask a simple question and instinctively reached for the phone; or, how many times have we driven by their old home, just to see if he might be sitting on the porch waiting for us to stop by?”
Shortly before her death in 1989, TV comedian and personality, Lucille Ball, did a TV interview with Merv Griffin. He asked her a very serious and pointed question: "Lucille, you’ve lived a long time on this earth and you are a wise person. What’s happened to our country? What’s wrong with our children? Why are our families falling apart? What’s missing?"
Lucille Ball answered without hesitation: "Papa’s missing. Things are falling apart because Papa’s gone. If Papa were here, he would fix it."
We just seem to know that our Dad can fix what is broken in us. While there are literally dozens of verses in scripture pointing to the importance, the responsibility and authority of the father, perhaps in no place do we find a more direct and poignant example of the father than in Luke 15, in the story of the prodigal son. After this man’s son had acted foolishly and sinfully, in short, after he had become a big disappointment to his father, and after finding himself destitute and starving; this son decided to “face the music,” as it were. He realized more than anything else, he needed to talk to his Dad. Then in verses 20-24 we find these words. “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
You know the story, the father did not condemn his son, but celebrated; for, as he said in verse 24, “This is my son who was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.”
The story goes on to speak of the reaction of the “prodigal’s” brother and their father’s counsel to him. But it says no more about the redeemed son’s thoughts or actions. So, let us imagine that, later that night, this son might have looked in on his father, now sleeping peacefully, and then looked to the heavens to see the glory of the universe and spoke some very important and healing words from his heart: -- “That’s my Dad!”