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I’ve decided to put a new twist on Father’s Day this year. Inspired by the way Hobbits celebrate their birthdays—giving gifts, rather than simply receiving them—I am choosing to put the focus on my children, and not on myself as their father.
For my youngest, Madison, our Father’s Day celebration will be delayed for a few weeks until he and I head off to Wyoming, in August, to engage in one of our favorite activities. We hope to climb to the summit of Grand Teton—one of America’s grandest, indeed! A true mountaineering adventure.
For my middle, Ian, we are spending the day on mission in Guatemala, serving the impoverished people of the Highland villages, providing them with something simple yet profoundly life-changing: wood-burning stoves and water-purification systems. An adventure of a different type.
And, finally, for my oldest, Story, I am standing with her in her fight against cancer—her own, and that of others who face genetically-increased risk. She started a campaign to raise money for an organization that is pioneering research in hereditary cancers. Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) gives us hope that she, and our granddaughters, will be around for many years to come. FORCE has my support; and I am encouraging others to join me. An adventure I never wanted to have.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Anyone can be a father; but it takes someone special to be a Dad.” I make no claims here—I know I have sometimes failed miserably—yet my hope is that the love of God our Father has shown through me, in spite of my deficiencies, and made me worthy of being called “Dad.” May the Lord grant the Apostle Paul’s prayer in Ephesians for me and every Dad: “I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:14-16).
The Rev. Jeff RawnPastoral Care, Men & Mission
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