Tuesday, 4 July 2006

God the Father, me the Child

I haven't posted much recently manly cos I had nothing to write about, the reason I had nothing to write about was that I stopped reading my bible and praying again. (I never learn, it was only two or three weeks ago I was saying how much of a difference the 24/7 prayer room had made on my life and now I'm finding myself not spending enough time with God. I'm stupid I really am.)

Anyway, alot of things have been going on, firstly, I have been reading 'Wild at Heart' which has been an odd experience, I'm about three quarters through and pretty much every day for the last week or two (I read it on my lunch breaks) John (the writter) has said something that was slap bang relevant to me.

It really hurts sometimes, cos it cuts straight to the bone and God is speaking loud and clear on somethings. The one that springs to mind the most is forgiving your father. Now, my brothers (I have three) quite often point out to me that I'm a hipocrite, I claim to be a christian, but I don't talk to my Dad. "I've cried many times and I've sighed many times, I talk the talk without the walk you can hear it in my rhymes" Thats a quote from a track called Candle by Dirt & Nazir and it totally sums me up quite alot of the time. They look at me me and all they see is the times that I screw up, I sometimes I could make them understand I'm not blind to my faults, I'm not so arrogant that I ingnore argh, I wish I could explain what I mean more, maybe I need to go and sleep.

The gist of it is this, I feel I can't forgive my Dad for the things he has done and they way he has hurt me when he won't even achknowlege what he has done, time after time I have said "get away from me, I've had enough, I can't deal with with" time after time I have started over again and time after time he has hurt me again. It doesn't make sense to put myself in a place where I know I will get hurt does it? And I know it will happen! One of my brothers has said to me alot of times "Dad is idiot and he does talk crap but you kinda have to just say 'yeah, whatever Dad' and ingnore him" I don't want a Dad like that, I think the reason I did so much agency work was the fact I was in a really strong male enviroment, where I learnt what 'real' men where meant to be like, listening to them I learnt about having children, being married, working hard, now I admit, it wasn't idea, but I learnt alot more from a three week period being a bin man than I ever did from my own Dad. Why would someone want to hang out with someone when their traits, values and attitudes towards life is completely opposite to their own? Why put yourself in that place when you know it won't be healthy for you? I can't see any traits in my Dad that hope to inhert or pass on to my children. Do you phone someone you don't like to see how they are? no. You are polite, but you don't go out of your way to meet with them, its like that with my dad.

"now you must understand: Forgiveness is a choice. It is not a feeling, but an act of the will. as neil Anderson has written, "don't wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving, you will never get there. Feelings take time to heal after the choice to forgive is made." We allow God to bring the hurt up from our past, for "if your forgiveness doesn't visit the emotional core of your life, it will be incomplete." We acknowlege that it hurt, that it mattered, and we choose to extend forgiveness to our father. This is not saying: "it didn't really matter"; it is not saying, "I probably deserved part of it anyway." Forgiveness says "it was wrong, it mattered and I release you."
And then we ask God to father us, and tell us our true name." But how does that work if your father never accepts blame. I've had my brother try and pass me the phone saying "Dad wants to speak to you, he is crying" And in my head I'm thinking "good, now you know what its like to to really hurt. " But if he did actually hurt, why doesn't he act on it!? What a fool! (what a fool I am, I just said "if he did actually hurt, why doesn't he act on it" why don't I act on it? I suppose my reasoning is that I don't feel I should have to, I was hurt first, I am still the child, why do I have to lead by example? And I have done already by saysing "I forgive you" and welcoming him back so many times before one to have him hurt me again.

I was saying earlier how I don't want to have his traits but I have been told how if he would fall out with someone he would just write them off and ingnore them. I'm doing this at the moment, last summer my best friend (at the time) and I fell out over something, I still to this day have no idea (regardless of what he actually thinks!) what it was all about. I can remember saying, "whatever it is, tell me and I won't do it again, I don't want to upset you" and I didn't really get an answer, all I know is that when we prayed for each other he said something that will always stick with me "Father God, Dave says he's sorry and I pray that he is". It was kinda like a slap in the face, we made up and then quite clearly in one second it was all broken again. I don't speak to him much any more, I won't approach him unless he is with my other friends and conversation is kept to
"alright mate?"
"yeah I'm good thanks, you?"
"yeah I'm good"

With both of these people I have no urge to forgive either as (and please excuse me if I sound all hard done by here) but I feel the victim in this.

The thing is, God has been saying, LOADS that I need to get this sorted. I just don't want to make the first move, I ALWAYS make the first move, I am always the one who doesn't like conflict and will try my best to sort something out, but in these two cases, I can't do it, I've tried, but I can't do it.

Anyway, back to what I was gonna say at the begining of all this ramble, I was reading Isaiah Ch 45 and at the begining it says this "I have taken hold of your right hand...As I lead you, I will level mountains and break the iron bars on bronze gates of cities. I will give you treasures hidden in dark and secret places. Then you will know that I, the LORD God of Israel, have called you by name."

I picture it it like this: I've kicked my football into a load of stinging nettles and my Father (note: I didn't say dad) lead me through those nettles to my ball. He is crushing the nettles and making a path for me, sometimes he is taking me on his shoulders and carrying me, but in all this, he is leading me by the hand. Hand in hand, mine in his, we are going to places I never thought I could go, and I'm going there confidently cos I'm with my father and nothing scares hims, he is strong, he is powerful, he is brave, he is honest and true. I look up at his shoulders , he turns around and looks me in the eye, and all I want and all I want to be there there.

This isn't my dad, this is my father. I was encouraged this morning, and I asked God to lead me.
Got alot more to say, but I'll leave it for tomorrow.


sparkles said...

I want to say something helpful and encouraging, but I think you know it all already, and I think that God is leading you by his pace.

Do you pray for your dad? Do you pray that God will help him sort his stuff? And that God will draw close to him?

Dave said...

no...I don't.
Well I do sometimes, its very rare tho.
Thanks Helen, its the obvious things I have a tendancy to miss. Thankyou.

Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said...

I remember you once quoted the Philippians jive to me and said you could do all things through your God who strengthens you. As much as I'm normally a liberalist, I'd urge you to be bothered by the herecy in saying:

I can't forgive...

You know as well as any (probably more than most with the time you've spent thinking about the issue) that forgivness is even more important than the daily bread you ask for. Forgivness is paramount as in the big Eph4:32 style, so if God can give you the strength to run three bin marathons a week, for heaven's sake, man - open your eyes! Don't catch yourself thinking `I feel like forgiving my dad` - the author of your quote is right, feelings are pointless - let God be the source and sculpture of your forgivness.

I try not to speak in quite such a firm mannor per ce (I don't think any Christian has the right to tell another what to do or feel), but I think with the similarities between our two fathers I'm granting myself licence to speak as an academic on the subject of gay dads and the forgivness thereof.

I think I can say that from my youthlyness of shunning my dad to hating him to avoiding him - even thinking the same as yourself: `God, don't let my children inherit my dad's faults` ; or choosing to be civil without any depth of love and with the continuing under-bubbling of enmity. However with the virtue of hindsight I can say it's the absence of love; the lack of discipline to forgive; the endulgence of seething hatrid is what scarred me, not any fault of my father himself.

Do you think you'll regret forgiving your dad? Do you think God's unable to give you the love and strength to forgive your dad? Dude, like Helen said, you know this: God's waiting behind the bathroom door with the baseball bat of love so the next time you go to take a pee he's going to beat you senseless with love if only you would take that step and go to the metaphorical toilet. He's not somewhere on the planet `Christian family unit` waiting for you to forgive your dad so you can join the next church picnic; he's closer to you than your knees are!

My point is we can agree you're too feeble to forgive your dad on your own (just like i was/still am) and I think God's sitting in heaven going `Dave: forgiveness is your golliath and I'll be cleaning a dave shaped puddle from the floor unless you call on me for help in a bit`. It was only not calling for Jesus' strength that sustained the enmity between my father and myself . I don't say that to gloat or disparage your love but to encourage you to be bold enough to employ God's strength to this situation.

That's probably it for my rant and I do apologise if that comes across too preachish at points, but I'd like to end by saying your dad is a fearfully and wonderfully made child of God. The God who will heal your leg is the God who knows every hair on your dad's head. the God who breathed life into your lungs was the God who chose to love your dad enough to do the same. The God who died on the cross to save you bled for every annoying aspect of your dad.

Dave said...

but how do you do it?
I mean what do you actually do?
What do you say?
How do you stop history repeating itself?

sparkles said...

I don't think I'm qualified necessarily to talk in the dad sense, but I'm sure I've heard/read somewhere by speaking out the forgiveness.

When it comes down to it, it's a choice. You either choose to forgive or you don't.

Just cuz you don't 'feel' like you've forgiven a person, doesn't mean you haven't. Start by speaking it out, speak it out with someone if you want that accountability. Then choose to live in that forgiveness and ask God to heal.

I dunno, it's difficult. I'll think some more.