My Dad (a loan officer) worked from home throughout my childhood. Remote work is fairly common today—the standard in the past few months—but it was much less so in those pre-internet days, and his ability to be home with our family was a rare gift.
Dad referred to his downstairs home office as His Cage, and we knew that when his “cage” door was closed, we were to stay away from the room and keep our voices low. Outside of the lunch hour, it wasn’t unusual for us to go most of the work day without interacting with Dad. But even with that office door closed, the muffled tones of his phone conversations carried down the hall. We knew he was home and that he could be available at a moment’s notice for a lengthy chat, a game of cards, or consoling hug.
Because he was home most of the time, we felt Dad’s absence more keenly on the days when he was out on a business call. The door to his home office would be open, that corner of the house oddly quiet, and the home felt not-quite-right until he returned. My mom and brother were around, but I still remember experiencing a strange sense of incompleteness verging on homesickness when Dad wasn’t there. And at the end of the day, when we heard the sound of the garage door opening and Dad’s car pulling in, the house felt right again. Dad was home.
In recent months, Mister Rogers’ sage counsel to “look for the helpers” has been given new life. It’s a comforting bit of advice. Unfortunately, the helpers aren’t always easy to spot or available to assist. In today’s strange and frightening times, it can be difficult to know where to turn or whom to trust. Helpers—even well-meaning ones—can sometimes do more harm than good. Our world doesn’t just need helpers. We need a Dad.
And we have one! We might not always hear from Him (just as I didn’t always hear from my own dad throughout his work day), but our Heavenly Father is there, He is present, and He is always available to us—to answer our questions, provide wisdom or comfort, or simply to listen to us as we cry.
Father’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate our earthly fathers, and I am truly thankful for my amazing dad and the years of humor, support, companionship, and lectures (um. . . advice) he has provided. But Father’s Day is also a great opportunity to give thanks for our Father in Heaven.
Our Father is our ever-present counselor, our fortress in times of trouble, our shepherd in the wilderness. He is our light in the darkness, our healer when we feel broken, and our comfort when our hearts are weary. He is a God who knows us and loves us, and even when we don’t see Him, He is always there.