Manasseh

I talked to a man recently who had been raised by his mother and had never known his father. As an adult, the pull on his heart to establish and enjoy a relationship with his father was huge and undeniable. He gave up his whole life and moved across the country to pursue the relationship he dreamed of.

The relationship itself failed by comparison to the dream of what it might be. Even the disappointment did not erase the magnetic pull towards the man who mattered the most to the boy. The boy might be in a 30-something year old body but he was waiting for the affirmation that he had what it took to occupy the role of the man. The boy can long to hear “well done” and “I approve” to step with confidence into manhood long after achieving the age of adulthood.

Joseph had been a subject of abuse and neglect. He was estranged for many years and had gained great success without the support of his father and his father’s house. Yet, when his first-born son arrived he named the baby in a way that signified “I have forgotten the trouble of my father’s house.”

The irony screams. Each time Joseph would call his son’s name which was created to celebrate forgetting, he would in fact remember. The calling out of the declaration was at the same time a reminder. The reality is that he could never forget, he yearned to be Healed.

The father relationship is vitally important and cannot be simply forgotten by a declaration of “it doesn’t matter.” Connecting the heart (how we feel) with the head (why we feel it) is the first step in reconciling any disappointment with that foundational relationship.

Realization of identity and purpose through the Father are the destiny we all ultimately yearn for. The very personal perception of what a father is either facilitates or hinders that destiny. For those whose father has not served them well, the Hope of  adoption redeems the disappointment of their birthright. There is Healing in the adoption.

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