A New Kind of Fathers

Since my early days in church I’ve often been told I had to relate to God as a father. I just couldn’t… I tried but.. Couldn’t.

See, I never knew my father, he caused my mother horrible pain and left our family to fend for itself excelling us into a deeper poverty and depression.

Amongst all of the constant struggles just for daily food and hoping for shelter in the coming months as bills piled up, in church I was told to pray to God, my ABBA father.

That word ABBA was foreign to me. Not in the sense of the definition, i knew how church folks defined it, I just didn’t know what it looked like.

In my mind I didn’t see much of a difference between God and a deadbeat father.

Over the past decade my thoughts have changed. Now I want to share with you some insight about real fathers. I hate to disappoint you but this blog won’t be specifically tied to God being our father, nor to biological fathers.

In my last book I taught of a new way to understand fathers. One of the Hebraic words for Father is אמן and is pronounced ‘aman.

The definition for the Hebrew word for father is one “who offers his right hand.”

The definition beautifully brings to mind the prefect expression of what a father is and can be.

This word father here is more than a person who works, provides and loves. This wisdom in the word father is about a person who seeks to lead, guide and walk with you.

I’ve never had a father. But I have been very blessed in my childhood to have many men and women come into my life to lead me and take my hand while on this spiritual journey and this life journey.

My hope on this day when we celebrate fathers we include those mentors, spiritual fathers and all who have had a hand in leading someone.

I am convinced that God loves puns when reading the Bible, and this Hebrew word used for father is ‘aman…or as our English eyes might see it, A Man. A man is someone who leads. A man is an example. A man is a guide.

Let us not only celebrate the men in our lives doing this but embrace anyone who leads and instructs regardless of gender.

To all the Leaders out there… Thanks from a former broken and lonely kid.
Ricky Maye

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Our Last Easter

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Our last Easter

With a handful of colored eggs and Jesus in a tomb on TV. I had the task of explaining Easter to my two year old.

If Easter is to offer a universal truth that goes beyond age and culture, then our celebration of Easter isn’t to be wrapped in atonement arguments or something as mundane as colored eggs and candy. My explanation couldn’t include the roots of 13 Century gods, bunnies or religion. It had to be bigger.

With this task ahead, I wanted to get rid of my theological assumptions and explanations and figure out what the Easter season means to me and my son.

Growing up I knew what it was like to fall; to be down.

Emotionally my childhood was spent very low. What often brought me back to the Jesus story was the notion of resurrection, and we are celebrating that around the world very soon. But how does a child understand resurrection?

I speak of resurrection not fully in the physical sense of rising from the dead. But the metaphorical idea of things not ending when it looks as if the end has come.

My two year old like many kids know what it’s like to fall or get hurt. He knows what it’s like to crash into a wall or two. He often knows what it’s like to be stopped in his tracks.

So we sat down last week and my explanation of Easter didn’t include bunnies or tombs but something he and I could relate to very easily.

I told him we would be celebrating possibilities and second chances.
You might find us eating candy, or painting eggs we may read some scriptures of the resurrection.

But most of all Easter at our house will be celebrating the timeless example of Jesus and that dead things, dead dreams, dead opportunities do not have to die. They can rise up.

How will your family be celebrating the Easter season this year?