Father’s Day was an extra blessing for me this year. My daughter was born just over a year ago and this is the first Father’s Day we’ve had together.
I’ve been a stepfather much longer, and that has its own challenges. But we manage, and parenting my stepdaughter prepared me for having my own child.
I’m still close with my own father. We talk on the phone every week or so, and stay updated on each other’s lives between visits. Getting to present him with a granddaughter this year after many years of trying was one of the happiest moments of my life.
As I’ve gotten older and seen the ups and downs of parenting, I better understand the challenges he went through. It wasn’t easy raising two boys, and we didn’t make it any easier. But he did the best he could, and I’m proud to call him my father.
A Spiritual Father’s Day
I have a spiritual father as well. My priest is my mentor and guide as I keep walking this path I have chosen. He is always willing to sit down over a meal and hear my concerns. He is my confessor and my teacher. His stern admonitions are of a piece with his gentle reassurance. I couldn’t have chosen a better spiritual father.
Today, I was blessed to sponsor another father being received into the Orthodox Church. Along with his wife and daughter, he completed a journey he started months before.
As I stood behind him during the Divine Liturgy, I thought back to my own reception into the Church and the joy I felt at becoming united to Holy Orthodoxy. I teared up a little as he put his arm around his daughter. I know exactly how he felt.
As the service was ending, my daughter toddled up behind me and tugged the leg of my pants. I scooped her up into my arms, happy to be a father on such a day.
To all of you who are fathers, stepfathers and spiritual fathers, I wish you a blessed Pentecost and a happy Father’s Day.
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