Sunday, June 16, 2019

2019.06.16 Knocking Off THE Father and Loving the Daddy

Happy Father’s Day. Happy Trinity Sunday.

Many Christians claim to understand the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity, yet no one does. How can the one God be partitioned—thrice holy? In church we pray to OUR FATHER. We bless and anoint in the name of THE FATHER. Adding HIS only son and a holy spirit, we lustily sing Holy, Holy, Holy. We proclaim, praise, and triple-bind ourselves into this girdle of holiness and name it One God. Now who really does not secretly know that the real head of this sweet holy trio is THE FATHER? 

I’m a woman, also a mother. My preferred pronouns are she, her, hers. I’m not named as one of these major God parts. I’m not bitter, because my spiritual experience tells me I’m holy, and that the Trinity really means that the One Father God’s holiness is innumerable—not three or even three zillion. God has no preferred pronouns. God is not my father. 

Most days I adored my father. I used to think he was like God and imagined him in grandiose ways. One day though I did discover that he really was the bravest man in the universe.

Daddy was a city man—reserved, handsome, advertising executive. As a child I longed to capture his attention. My strategies, chiefly cuteness, incessant questions, and begging for one more book, bore little fruit—except in the summer when left the city and spent time on a farm up-state. Daddy commuted but took lots of vacation time. We got to explore the near-sacred mysteries of life on a farm.

We’d read picture books about farm animals, so we’d practiced neighs, brays, moos, cackles, and oinks. On the farm our book-animals leapt alive. We bonded over barnyard sights, sounds, and smells, especially freshly mown hay, pigs wallowing in mud, and cows. I was scared but Daddy was brave. Watching a cow give birth terrified me. The mother cow struggled and bellowed. Daddy told me to wait, luckily refraining from a lesson in sex education. I held my hands over my eyes, but peeked. When the calf finally emerged my heart jumped. How had it fit inside? This led us to the bull—a daddy to avoid, Daddy said.

The bull had his own stall. We peeked in. The bull snorted and had sharp piercing eyes—angry. One day the farmer asked Daddy to help get the bull up a ramp and onto the trailer for transport. The bull was secured by ropes tied to a halter. I watched, shivering with fear. Some men tugged the lead on the halter and pulled. Others poked with pitchforks from the rear. The raging bull jerked his head and took a quick turn toward Daddy. The farmer yelled: “Jump aside quick!” I held my breath till the bull galloped up the ramp onto the truck. Daddy was saved.

Driving home, I asked softly: “Daddy, were you scared?”

“You bet I was Lynnie,” he said.  

At that moment I knew my father really was the bravest man in the universe.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy—God also of course and in case.