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Forgiving My Father
Delighting in God as My Daddy
By Elaine Creasman


God wants to be my Daddy.

For years, I sought Jesus as a loving brother, but I had built a wall to keep God the Father out. Then one day in church, we were encouraged to meditate on our relationship with Father God.

In my mind I visualized God stepping off His throne. I felt frightened as He walked toward me. Would He be critical? Would He point out my sins and yell in rage at my imperfections? Suddenly He was right with me. Then He did something unexpected. He got on His knees and washed my feet. The words that echoed in my mind were those of Jesus in John 14:9: “The one who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

Since then I’ve embraced God the Father and even God my Daddy. I’ve discovered that He has none of my father’s imperfections. I’ve asked Him to forgive me for judging that He did. 

The rest of the story.

In the midst of my tears over the girl in the park and over never having a daddy, I heard God whisper, “Let Me be your Daddy.” I pictured myself starting to walk toward Him. As I got closer, my father was walking with me. Then the truth hit me: My father didn’t know how to be a daddy because he never had one. His father was an alcoholic, and his parents divorced when he was young. He didn’t see his father again until he was an adult, and my grandmother remained a single mom. Suddenly I no longer saw my father as the cause of my grief and pain. He was a fellow sufferer. I felt immense compassion toward him and took his hand in mine as we walked toward God, our Daddy.

As I have let go of my expectations of my father and have allowed God to be my Daddy, my father has developed “daddylike” ways. He used to say, “Me too” or “Same here” whenever I told him I loved him. Now he’s able to say the words and even initiates them occasionally.  He hugs me whenever we get together, and over time the hugs have turned from stiff, mechanical to the genuine article. His tone has become more tender, and his harsh, abusive tirades are a distant memory.

As I reflect on mistakes I’ve made as a mom, even though I desire to be a great mom, I know my dad wanted to be a great dad and even a great daddy. His words “I did the best I could,” are the closest he’s come to an apology. I know now that our best can never measure up. That’s why we need Jesus, and that’s why we need a heavenly Daddy who promises to be “a father of the fatherless.” (Psalm 68:5 ) — a Daddy of the “daddyless.” That promise is for me and for my dad and for anyone else who will embrace it.

This article first appeared in the June 2006 issue of Journey. © 2006 Lifeway Press

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"I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free."
Psalm 119:32 NIV

































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