For years, “Mother’s Day” was the day of the year when the most long-distance phone calls were made. This is not hard to understand, as there is a special bond between both sons and daughters with their mothers that is very profound.  

This Sunday, we mark another important day on the calendar. It is Father’s Day. This day of recognition was not as readily accepted by the masses as Mother’s Day and didn’t become an official holiday until 1972.  

The reason Father’s Day was slower to become accepted was because there was a resistance to the sentimentalizing of a man with gifts such as flowers and such. 

But ultimately, the special day to honor our fathers made its way into our annual roster of holidays and more than a billion dollars is now spent each year on Father’s Day gifts; much to the delight of retail merchants — always ready to cash in on the softness of our hearts.  

As a society we are needing fathers more than ever. Far too many of our homes are fatherless for one reason or another, too often because of men who walk away from the families they helped create. 

A recent statistic indicates that around 90 percent of runaway children come from fatherless homes. It is no coincidence that in Psalm 68:5, the Psalmist writes these words about the goodness of God: “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows.” 

Our God is concerned about every fatherless child. We recently paused in respect and honor at the 70th anniversary of D-Day. 

The victory over Hitler didn’t come cheap. In that single invasion, more than 4,400 Allied soldiers met with death. More than 400,000 American soldiers died during World War II.

Thousands of these young men were fathers. This kind of sacrifice was repeated in the many wars we have fought right up to the present day.

If there is any consolation, it is in the fact that God has a plan to fill the void in the hearts of so many young boys and girls who for no fault of their own do not have a dad in their lives.   

Over the years, I have worked with many people who carried the pain of being fatherless into the church. Though the church cannot be all things to all people all the time, it can lead those with hurting hearts to the open arms of the Heavenly Father.

He can make the family whole and complete with His personal love and care. I’ve seen it over and over again.

If you have an earthly father, remember him with appreciation and love on Father’s Day. If you do not, seek out your Heavenly Father and see if He will not come to you in unexpected ways to fill this void in your life.

Brothers in the Lord, listen to the voice of the Spirit as you may be just the person God wants to use to restore a father’s image in some young person’s life. 

Happy Father’s Day, and God bless our readers.  

The Rev. JOHN ABBEY is pastor of Bethel Church in Killeen.

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