Happy Father’s Day to all you dads! I hope you all get a day of appreciation from you kids and those you care for, and that you are able to find some rest in the midst of the busy busy BBQ’ing.
Yesterday my siblings and I and our families when to the cemetery with my mom to see my dad’s grave. It’s been a while since I’ve been there so I felt good to see the marker and just where my dad’s physical remains have been in the past 2 years and will remain for the years to come. We shared stories and laughs, and my brother in law prayed for all of us.
He used a phrase to describe my dad, he said “good dad”.
And I was like, uh what?
Growing up, I never felt like my dad was good. He was easily angered, overly strict, and sometimes it really felt like he was being mean for the sake of being mean. I often looked at my friend’s dads who weren’t easily angered, overly strict or mean for the sake of being mean, and I’d be jealous. I wish I had a dad like that. But instead I got mine, my less-than-perfect dad.
But now that he’s gone, I realise how much I miss him and love him. He’s my dad, after all. He had a quirky sense of humour and a really weird way of looking at life, but he was…. is… my dad.
So maybe by the world’s standards he wasn’t really a “good dad”. But he was my dad. And he was good.
I never really knew how to make heads or tails of this story of Jesus healing this guy full of demons, and casting said demons into a bunch of helpless pigs (poor pigs). I didn’t get what the point of everyone’s fear after seeing this. I don’t really understand the message coming out it.
But then I saw how far Jesus travelled to get there. How odd and confrontational the man was. How the people reacted to Jesus’ actions. And the instructions Jesus gave to the man after he left them.
Jesus saw value and worth in a crazy man that had to be chained up, enough to love and care for him. The people were afraid of their town crazy being healed because now they might have to talk to him. The man did as Jesus asked because he was now empowered by the Spirit to proclaim the good news.
The guy was full of demons, but he was good. He was crazy, but he had a message for the people. He was an outcast, but he was loved.
This reminds me of God’s vast love, grace, and mercy. This reminds me of how wide God’s welcome and inclusion and invitation actually go. This reminds me of how we all can be seen as weird, disliked, or unwanted and yet be so very much and dearly loved.
Thanks be to God! For we all belong in God’s kingdom and family, joined together with Christ and all the saints by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Have a great week, everyone!