This is a perfect image for how fathering often feels. I saw it this morning on my way to Target to pick up diapers and milk. I missed the detail that the boy was down to four diapers. His grandmother was in route. I should have gone to the store yesterday, but yesterday had its own long list of things to do for me.
I have this expectation to be a certain kind of a father. I want my son to see me when I’m good, when I’m finished, when the construction that is my spiritual life is complete. And yet that isn’t real. What’s real is that I’m open while I’m wrecked, while I’m worked over, while I’m dusty, while I’m, at worst, even uninhabitable. But that’s what he has, a dad with brokenness. A dad with edges that are far too sharp. A dad who may well have a beautiful plan in front of him. A dad who may one day be a strong, sturdy this or that but who, these days, is a project, a work in progress, a mess on its way to something else.