THE FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS
In the 1980’s, many liturgical traditions came up with “inclusive language settings.” These took care to avoid any gender specific words when it came to God. One argument for this was that people have so much difficulty with human fathers, they can’t relate to God if we address or refer to Him with the same title. My experience has been different.
God showed Himself to me as my good, loving Papa when I was in college. This revelation has been foundational in my healing. He has built on it through the years.
One such occasion was my Episcopal confirmation, when I was 29. The Old Testament lesson was about God, the Father to the fatherless. While this was still being read, I heard God say, “That includes those of you whose fathers couldn’t be dads.”
So who is this Papa? How is He different from a human father?
He is all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful and totally perfect. He knows and understands each of us: He is also Creator, so He knew us when He conceived us, before anybody had the slightest idea that we would exist. He even knows all of the things we don’t know about ourselves. He is good; He has plans for our welfare that give us a hope and a future. He loves to bless us; in fact, He lavishes His love on us. He doesn’t miss a thing, no matter how minuscule or insignificant it seems, because He is always with us (in us, once we give our lives to Jesus!)
Do you need someone who really gets who you are? Do you want someone to talk to about anything at all? Papa God is listening; He is Personally concerned with every aspect of your life.
Psalm 68:5; 139:13-16
1 John 3:1