There are a lot of baby birds flying about outside the house and the bird feeder this year. The little fledglings that we have seen or more poignantly, heard are robins, field sparrows and cardinals, mostly. They fly about, despite feathers not quite put together and in that icky-chickie stage, but still insisting… no demanding, to be fed. Their parents frantically swoop this way and that, bringing one seed at a time to open mouths, beating frantic wing.
It has been rather interesting to watch… and yesterday, I made a day of it.
Beginning at dawn, the cardinal twins were at it, begging desperately to be hand fed… well, beak-fed, as it were. Both Mother and Father Cardinal chirped encouragement for their young brood to independently eat from the bird feeder themselves, but the twins would have none of it. Cheeping loudly in protest, quivering pitiably hoping one or the other would give in and come with rescue. If I were to make an observation, it was Father Cardinal who was most likely to give in and feed them, bringing peace to the cherry tree and living room as I tried and failed to catch a quick catnap on the couch amidst bird watching.
Fathers have a very important job in the family. In fact, only recently has the medical community begun to publicly acknowledge through scientific study the significant impact a Father has in the lives of his children. In my work a-day-world, I have the honor and privilege of encouraging first-time fathers on how to begin the relationship with their newborns. Did I say, I have the best job ever! It’s true, it is a fine way to spend a living… Most new Daddies get so very overwhelmed with all the tasks of a new baby, caring for mother and working to pay for everything… that they forget the most important part… their babies. Being a Father isn’t about the feeding … the changing… the diapering… the burping… it’s about relationship. And the work of relationship begins at birth.
Babies come with innate intelligence and personalities from the start, so the most important job of new Fathers and Mothers is to get to know their babies. Each baby is unique, like a snowflake or fingerprint and must be studied to appreciate the nuances. Attending hundreds of births, I have been given an incredible opportunity to behold new life. There are fat babies, skinny babies, babies with large ears or feet, dimples or birth marks, screamers or those who quietly contemplate the new world as with aged wisdom. It is totally fascinating to see the variation in how these little ones respond after the process of birth… again, variation in personality and temperament. I am convinced this is one of the many reasons why God loves children. He doesn’t feel too important or busy for them. He hovers, nurtures, studies, admires and while in flesh, “Jesus took the children into his arms and blessed them by placing his hands on them” (Mark 10: 16).
Sometimes we mothers, often without realizing it, get in the way of a father being involved with his children. We take over; pushing Father away as we try to met expectations of others or the unrealistic goals from within, not realizing the danger and the long-term sequelea that can occur. Children need their Dads. Every child has a hole in his or her heart that only a father can fill. Everyone of us, for that matter, have a hole in our soul that only our Heavenly Father can fill.
“Your mercy, O Jehovah, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds” (Psalms 36:5).
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise. Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. I will praise You, O Jehovah, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy is great to the heavens, and Your truth to the clouds”
(Psalms 57: 7-10).
Fathers, in every place on this globe, on this very important day Father’s Day … Go to your children… love them, play with them, study and adore them as they are… unique and precious… gifts from above. Revel in the relationship and enjoy God’s gift of pure joy which is found in your child. Allow yourself to be loved and to be vulnerable…
Be the kind of father who can always be counted on for a warm smile, a hug or a word of encouragement… And look into the face of your child, see that incredible smile… if you give of yourself today and everyday, someday when someone asks your child, what kind of man were you, what kind of father… the smile will come back.
Fathers, in every place on this globe, on this very important day Father’s Day … Go to your Heavenly Father… let him love you, work on your relationship by spending time with him… He designed you in your mother’s womb and you are uniquely precious (Psalms 139) … God made you as a gift to himself…designed to love him and he to love you. Be the kind of Father who is intent on making God smile. Today, if someone were to ask God, what kind of man are you, God’s smile would come back.