The fatherhood of God has meant so much to me throughout my life—on Father’s Day and every day.
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and our home life was far from happy. My father left our family when I was very young, and we were virtually destitute.
Not long after he disappeared, my mother started attending a Church of Christ, Scientist, in Buenos Aires, and my sister and I were enrolled in the Christian Science Sunday School. One of my earliest recollections was discovering that God is the Father and Mother of each one of us—that we are the beloved children of this all-loving Parent. A verse from the Bible subsequently became one of my favorite texts: “Have we not all one father?” (Malachi 2:10).
It was a joy to learn that our heavenly Father does not disappoint or desert us, does not leave us destitute or alone, but will always be there for us, loving us and keeping us safe from harm. Some of these concepts are expressed in a poem by Mary Baker Eddy that I memorized as a child. It’s designated as a poem for little children, and brought me great comfort and reassurance:
Guard me when I sleep;
Guide my little feet
Up to Thee.
(Poems, p. 69)
Although our family faced many challenges after my father left home, our needs were met by turning to our Father-Mother in prayer, acknowledging His goodness and trusting in His provision. Part of the answer to the question “What is man?” given in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy is that man is “the compound idea of God, including all right ideas” (p. 475). This meant to me that I could experience fathering in my life through qualities of courage, strength, safety, support, protection, and so on, because they are included in each person’s identity as an idea of God.
Some verses in the book of Matthew in the Bible were also very helpful. They describe an interaction between Jesus and his disciples: “While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (12:46–50).
I take this to mean that we can love our family dearly and also realize a larger sense of family because we are all children of our infinite Father-Mother. Our true identity has its source in this glorious, divine fact.
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