Eventually life breaks us all, and afterword’s many are stronger in the broken places
– Ernest Hemingway
I heard a quote one time that said: “Life happens while you breath”. It’s true. Life can be very difficult at particular moments. There’s been enough written about why tragedies take place among seemingly good people and how we should view, act and react when they do. Ernie H. waxed poetically in his quote from “farewell to arms” but Jesus states “The Father causes the rain to fall on the Just and the Unjust alike”. Each author reminds us that it is how we respond that makes all the difference and our charge is too respond in a mighty way.
When dads do not love and hug and kiss their kids appropriately. When they do not tell their sons “they have what it takes” to hold their ground against the world awaiting as Hemingway warned; nor, equipping them to come in out of the rain. When they do not tell their daughters that they are beautiful and worth fighting for and distinctively stand in that gap willing to make that fight for them. Then dads fail; and, they leave wounds so profound in their children the result is catastrophic.
It has always helped me to remember when Jesus entered this world it was kind of “messy”. You remember his mother was about 12 or 13, unwed at the time of her pregnancy and delivering her first born in a stable of some sorts among the pigs and goats. Many would rightly say, there has never been any man who has so profoundly changed and shaped the world, as the man, this babe grew up to be. You will also remember that His father, in front of everyone at the Jordan stated, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”. Do any of us desire anything less from our own earthly fathers? Just because things don’t start we’ll doesn’t mean they can’t end on a better note. You’ll remember the words of Andy Dufrane “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”. Show me the man or women who didn’t grow up hoping their father would tell them, they were loved, they were courageous and they were beautiful! There are no age limits on these words.
There have been plenty of conversations related to the need for a kinder, gentler, softer behavior in men, along with a “thicker” skinned woman ready to replace the former male role model. Nothing will ever replace “toughness” in a man and grit when faced with life’s challenges; and, nothing will ever replace a women who is comfortable in her own skin, captivating in her own beauty. The former will only result in men and women who resemble the passenger pigeon; extinct, less fathers stand up to take their roles and bless their sons and daughters with Godly Grace, to become as the latter. The Apostle Paul exhorted us “act like men, be strong”; Fathers take heed.
The hard times that life brings; well, not every moment in life is so hard that their haven’t been countless others who have faced such conflict and prevailed. You can too. It’s much easier to walk up a mountain with a walking stick. It’s much easier to walk through life holding on to a father’s blessings. If it doesn’t come from your earthly father, your heavenly Father is waiting to provide His. It’s how you get stronger in the broken places! You remember in “Tombstone”, Wyatt Earp exclaims to Doc Holiday that he just wanted a normal life. Holiday, lying in a bed, moments from his own death by tuberculosis Doc responds “There is no normal life, there’s just life”. Just breath a little, ain’t it true!