Hey, it’s time for my annual post over here!
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with my biological dad Don via Facebook. A bit of backstory, for those of you who don’t know. My mom and dad were married relatively young and as a result, I came into the world. For reasons I won’t go into, mainly because they don’t matter to anyone reading this, they went their separate ways. Mom got custody, and I didn’t hear from him.
Over the intervening years, I made several attempts to find him and he me. As a result of my step dad adopting me, the name change prevented Don’s finding me. The fact that his name is apparently very common made it hard for me to find him. Only once I tried Facebook, did my efforts pay off.
That out of the way, on to the purpose of this post. Don and I chatted via texts and Facebook, had a nice phone call, and eventually he came to stay with me overnight. That was all good, and we both wanted to see more of each other and for me to meet the rest of my new (to me) family. He invited me and mine to come out to Pigeon Forge and spend a couple of days so I could at least meet his wife.
I’m sure that we were all, to varying degrees, nervous about the prospect. It turns out there was no reason to be. We all got along famously. I can’t tell you how many times some variation of the phrase “so that’s where Scott gets it from” was uttered. While I don’t believe that good taste in beer or Hawaiian shirts is genetic, we do have an awful lot in common. That comforts me deeply.
See, for four decades I was Fatherless. Sure, I had several step dads. Mom was married a total of four times. There were men in my life. None of them showed me a picture of me. I longed to know where my receding hairline or cheek bones came from. I was desperate to see if I had his smile or his cracked wit. Was he a family man? Did he write? I’m beginning to get answers to all of these questions.
A lot of Christians will have you believe that our idea of what God is like comes from the picture our father gave us. If dad was overbearing then it’s likely we’ll see God as controlling. If he’s nurturing and loving, so’s the Creator. I knew enough about God and little enough about my dad to know nothing about whether that comparison is apt. One thing I was certain of, my step dad Paul was nothing like my image of God.
I sat down to dinner and beer with Don more than once over the few days we had in Tennessee. It was a dream I’d had without knowing it. Pieces began to click into place. While I don’t think the burgeoning relationship we have will effect my relationship with God, I do carry a few things from the experience when it comes to my theology.
Never stop looking for God. You never know when he’ll show up, and it may be in the most unusual places.
Understand that the men in your life are not God. He’s going to be so unlike and so much better than the humans you deal with on a day to day basis.
When you finally sit down to beer with your heavenly father (a thing I believe will happen), things will click into place. You’ll understand things about yourself and about him that were mysteries up till that point.
There are more, I’m certain, but I fear if I go too much further down this road, it will just get silly.
Theology aside, I’m grateful we found each other and hopeful this reunion will lead to connecting with my siblings, nieces/nephews, and other relatives I have on that side. I’m glad for the time we shared and look forward to more beers with him.