“You are worth more than many sparrows.”
– Matthew 10:31
As my kids have grown older, they have become a lot more critical of their dear old parents, especially their father. My husband’s constant check-ins with them, stories and aphorisms they’ve heard dozens of times before, and (to them) fossilized views are often sources of irritation rather than edification. It sometimes falls to me to remind them of their father’s boundless love for them.
It’s Father’s Day, a holiday more about barbecues and beer than bouquets and breakfast in bed. For many, the best way to honor fathers is to let them watch unlimited amounts of TV and feed them delicious meals, even if they are often cajoled into being the grill meister. Fathers across the country today will ooh and aah over yet another tie and hold their children close, willing the years to freeze in place.
Today’s gospel speaks of a father love so great that we cannot contemplate it. The love of the Father makes our own attempts at loving others pale in comparison. As Jesus tells his disciples,
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
If we are fortunate, our own fathers are earthly models of the heavenly one. Their care and protection help us feel safe and grounded. They may be harsh at times, disciplining their wayward children in order to keep them safe. In our culture, dads are often mocked and teased because we erroneously believe they are tough and can take it.
Today let’s treasure the fathers in our lives. They are the fixers, the bad joke tellers, the men most likely to wear “groutfits” unironically. And they cherish their children “more than many sparrows.”