(Slightly adapted from Rev. Christine Robinson)
and help with science projects
and fix breakfasts,
explain how babies are made
and how baseball works
and read Richard Scary and Goodnight Moon, over and over and over again.
We pray for the fathers who fight in wars praying that victory will keep their children safe –
and for the fathers who work a second job so that their kids will be financially secure –
and for all the fathers who pay the bills and manage the accounts while the household sleeps.
We pray for beleaguered fathers and happy fathers,
Rich fathers and poor fathers,
Healthy fathers and challenged fathers.
Bless the fathers who made homes for the babies they fathered,
who stay married for the children's sake,
and who stay in their kids lives in spite of divorce.
Bless also the fathers who are excluded from their kids lives,
and the fathers who wish they had never been fathers but never forget,
and for those fathers whose much-wanted and much-cherished children love them deeply and bring joy to their lives.
Let us pray for grandfathers who watch the kids while parents work,
who tell their grandkids about the old days
and teach them how to use a saw, make a kite out of newspaper, and fix a real ice cream soda.
And let us pray also for boyfriends, step-fathers, foster fathers, and adoptive fathers, who, without ties of biology, do the same.
We pray blessings upon the fathering men who faithfully, appropriately, and, these days sometimes fearfully, teach school, lead scout troops, sign up to be a big brother, to coach a team, to pastor a church.
We also hold in prayer the men who wanted to be fathers and never were.
Our prayers are with the fathers who bite their lip and clamp their mouths shut when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green or pierce their who-knows-what.
We pray for the fathers whose children have lost their way and won't call home,
whose kids can't hear their wisdom
or their love
or their anguish.
We pray for the fathers who could never find the words to say how proud they were of their kids who did OK,
and we pray for the fathers who did find those words, and said them.
God bless the fathers who teach their sons to cook and vacuum
and their daughters to sink a jump shot and change a tire
and who teach their sons to respect women
and their daughters that they can expect to be respected by men.
God bless the young fathers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation.
God bless mature fathers learning to let go.
God bless working fathers and stay-at-home fathers.
Single fathers and married fathers.
Gay fathers and straight fathers.
Fathering men, and men who support fathers –
And God bless the women and bosses who support fathers and fathering.
God bless all of you.
Hang in there.
Our hearts lift this prayer of gratitude for the love of fathers everywhere, without which the world would be a terrible place.
God bless all the fathers for they make this a more civil, caring and safe place for the precious children in our world.
May they know, on this day and always, how much they matter.
* * *
This is part 1 of 5 of "Father Earth"
Next: Father Earth 1: In Case of Rain
Picture by Yesenia603, Wikimedia Commons