“I always dreamed one day we would really be together, you know, really know each other. It’s been my biggest, lifelong dream.” Justin sighs and ducks his head as he brushes an escaped tear from his water-brimmed eyes.
He is 27, and a potential future minister who attends our church. His father abandoned his mother before Justin was born, and never made more than an occasional guest appearance throughout Justin’s life. And now he is gone, dead of a heart attack.
I looked at the four young men gathered to meet with me, and realized only one, Caleb, had a loving, ongoing relationship with his father. Roger, 25, had an alcoholic father who died when he was 16, leaving Roger devastated. Looking for love, he got involved with his girlfriend and now was sharing joint custody, fathering his 3 year-old son.
Jordan, 22, had recently reconciled with his father, a busy professional, who only had time to make demands and give harsh punishment when Jordan was young. The two are making slow, but steady progress on the bridge of reconnection between them.
As I think of Father’s Day this Sunday, I am aware that the stories of these young men are all too common in our society today. Perhaps you too can only dream of happy memories of a loving father that never happened. Father’s Day may only remind you of that unfilled longing inside that never completely goes away.
I think the classic movie, “Field of Dreams,” captured that sense of longing for a father in the most poignant way. Spurred on by a voice and incessant inner urging, Iowa corn farmer, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), begins to build a baseball field in the middle of his corn crop. As each one of a series of historic players emerge, Ray is convinced his field is for them.
But in the end, he discovers that his efforts have been in response to his own longing for reconciliation with the father he had long ago rejected. His father appears at home plate, and the two reconnect as they finish the game of catch that Ray refused as a child. It is the dream fulfillment so many long for.
Who’s waiting in your field of dreams? I think we all have a field of dreams that contains all our unfulfilled longings as well as our hopes and plans for the future. For many of us, one person we keep waiting to see appear is our father, this time wanting and loving us.
I can’t guarantee that your father will ever appear there, but I want you to know that there is a father waiting in your field of dreams. It is your Heavenly Father and He’s been waiting all your life to welcome and embrace you.
Listen to what He is saying: “You may not know me, but I know you. I am familiar with all your ways. You were not a mistake for all your days are written in My book.” (Psalms 139:1,3,15-16) “I love you with an everlasting love. I will never leave or forsake you.” (Jeremiah 31:3) “My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:1)
May this Father’s Day remind you of the One waiting for you in your field of dreams. Receive Father God’s embrace and live in His never-ending love!
Come join us this Sunday, Father’s Day at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM. as we look into the heart of Father God in my sermon, “Encountering the Father’s Love.”