Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Father's Love Found ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Father's Love Found ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

I grew up more than a little afraid of my father. Approval from him was something that I craved, but it seemed that I was always falling short of the mark. As an adult, I hated that our conversations always seemed stilted and forced.

After his passing, I found I had unresolved issues, and even though he was gone, I wanted to forgive him for his violent outbursts and for hitting me when I was a child. After a great struggle, I was able to find some peace in forgiveness. But not long ago, I was thinking of him, and found myself saying, "But couldn't you have loved me just a little bit?"

I realized that there is more than a little self-pity in that remark, but I also recognized that I was being eaten up with regret that I couldn't remember ever being hugged, encouraged, or congratulated by him.

Even after many years of being a dad myself, having a successful career in teaching and government service, and enjoying a wonderful marriage, I felt that something was missing - that his approval would have filled the gap.

For many years, I've been accustomed to turning to God in prayer for comfort, well-being, and healing. So I found myself asking, "Does God know me and love me?" The Bible answers with a resounding yes. One translation reads: "It is the Lord who directs a person's steps; he holds him firm and approves of his conduct. Though he may fall, he will not go headlong, for the Lord grasps him by the hand" (Ps. 37:23, 24, Revised English Bible).

I found comfort in the image of God directing me, holding me, approving my conduct, and holding my hand. I turned to another book that has helped me understand the Bible, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by the founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy.

In her commentary on the first chapter of Genesis describing how God creates all and sees it as very good, she wrote, "This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected" (pp. …

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