I write this today as realised its ‘Uncle Phil Day’
My dad left on the day of my first-grade graduation. I remember his car rolling out the drive and down the road with eager anticipation of seeing him tomorrow. As the minutes, rolled into days, and the days into months and the months into years many questions came and went. How will I learn to shave? Youtube. Who will I go to for male advice? My Uncle. Who will teach me to be a man? Myself. But one question has always lingered and I suspect will always linger. Why doesn’t he want me?
Separations and Divorce cases are complicated, but for many, like me, who have little to no communication with their birth parents the pain of this human abandonment is a lingering pain that is like a perpetual wound. Opening and closing. More and more callous with each wound. More and more battle-hardened by each reminder. Many deal with this pain in different ways. The world offers many solutions. Alcohol, Sex, Toxic independence, Toxic Co-dependency, Unhealthy work habits, food, Money, Isolation, Wanderlust all are traditional cures to the pain that human abandonment can cause.
Often our feelings of isolation play out in different ways in our personalities. I’m usually (My time away from home has mellowed me slightly) extremely extroverted. I find joy in spending time with others. Being surrounded by others in the past helped me mute the feelings of not being enough and feeling worthless. My sister is the opposite. Introverted and shy she finds pleasure in her own room with a small tight-knit group of people. Untrusting, beady-eyed and careful.
While in some areas of our lives God sanctifies us quickly in others he chooses to do so slowly. This painful acceptance and the long procedure is designed and fashioned to help us be transformed into his image. The pain is by no means meaningless. Humans have always been designed to live in a community it is after all to the man that God said it was not good for him to be alone. However, as time has gone on I have grown to realise that no amount of friends. No circle wide enough will fill the void of pain that I feel. The importance of turning our pain to God is a clear theme throughout the holy scriptures. The Psalmists teach us to lament to the God of our salvation (Psalm 51, 88 etc), Christ teaches us to cast our burdens onto him (Matthew 11:28-30). The apostles teach us to turn to him and pray to him in our anxiousness(1 Peter 5:7). Why?
As pain is fashioned and designed and solved by one being and one being alone and that is Christ. Turning your eyes to him in your pain. Facing him in the fire and knowing he has never abandoned you is where true faith and obedience is shown. Believing that this is a road you are on alone is a lie that many of us love to believe. Timothy was notably ‘fatherless.’ Many biblical fathers are fathers many of us would rather not have. Feelings of abandonment in Christ are purely that, feelings, as the reality is our union with Christ which is unbreakable and permanent.
Accept the realities of being abandoned in this world but never forget the truth of the union in this world and in the next. Thank God for his sovereign election and take joy in the means of grace God provides in the church through older men.
Older men have been a true blessing to me. Especially in my time here. Men who have taken me under their wing. Check in on on my pain and care for my needs even though they have earthly sons and daughters of their own. This is the blessing that God has provided to me through his gift of the church.
Blessings peace and love,