I write this letter with mixed feelings – the feeling of being loved from an unsafe distance and the feeling of being abandoned in darkness to die. I have finally found the courage to turn my pains into poetry, using the teardrops from my bleeding heart to graciously paint the portrait of a father I wanted but couldn’t find in you.
Life has been a medley of flood and flames, I have had my fair share of sunny days – days I wished my father would be a patch of shade in the scourging sun.
I have also had my fair share of rainy days – days, when I felt the saltiness of my teardrops mix with the coldness of raindrops to give me the kind of fever only a father’s love can cure.
Life is nothing but a potpourri of ups and downs, and as a thirty-five years old man, I have had many up moments when fears and frustration were high. I have witnessed many down moments when funds and faith were outrageously low.
These moments left me with the scars of bad decisions and indecisions. I wished your words were a lamp to my feet and the light to my way when the fragrant fires of life lured me into avoidable affliction.
Like a lone tree on a highway, at my prime, when fruits were fresh and my leaves were flourishing, many wayfarers threw stones and pebbles at me, and I wished your words were a shield in which I could take refuge. When drought stole the grace of my existence, I wished your love would cascade with bliss to revive my dying soul.
Maybe I was too focused on you for nourishment, and so it was easy to blame you for my starvation. I was pointlessly waiting on you to free me, thinking that you are not the rock of my salvation. Over and over again, you didn’t show up when I needed you the most, and this messed up my mind.
The things you didn’t say were louder than the things you said. I still feel the echoes of your silence piercing through the fabrics of my tender heart.
The things you didn’t do were more forgivable than the things you did. I was expecting you to fill a vacuum no mortal man can fill.
I kept drowning in the ocean of negative emotions, my heart broke into a million messy pieces yet you couldn’t hear the sound of my heart crashing, because you were too far to feel the pulse of my pain and see the tapestry of my troubles.
All these years, I wished I could have a real conversation with you to tell you my story, I wanted you to see how emotional neglect brews streams of sorrow, tears and blood. But maybe I was too childish to see things from your perspective.
Maybe there was more to what I saw. Maybe you are a bleeding man with a broken spirit, maybe you lived a more terrible tale than mine, maybe you are bred from a cycle of emotional neglect, maybe we are all shattered souls from a bleeding bloodline. Maybe I was raised for such a time as this to break that cycle of struggles and introduce Jesus Christ the Cornerstone and my Anchor to the ground. The one who was sent to connect all dying men to the healing bloodline – our eternal ancestry.
This letter would be incomplete if I do not tell you everything that happened in your absence. How Christ picked me up from the pit of perdition, washed me in the stream of salvation and clothed me with the robe of redemption which He bought with His precious blood on Calvary’s tree.
He reconnected me to my real Father and nullified the negativity that your absence brought into my life. In Him, I discovered my true identity as a son of God and reclaimed my dignity as a royal priest.
He revealed my truth to me and this changed everything. Now I know that before I was formed in my mother’s womb, God knew. He made me in His image and likeness to proclaim the wonders of His love and light. I am king bred from a chosen generation and a holy nation.
I am not just another baggage of blunders but a mortal masterpiece, God’s precious work of art – blood type: humanity, DNA: divinity.
My intention is not to make you regret your past errors or feel sad for the painful memories that time cannot heal. I am glad that your absence led me into God’s precious presence. My hunger for a father’s love led me into His warm embrace, and now in my heart, God has a permanent place.
I am no longer the same, I no longer live in the valley of shame. I am a mobile miracle, a walking wonder and a slice of paradise, just like heaven on earth – God lives and reigns in my heart.
If God gives me my own children someday, I hope to represent the Heavenly father better than you did. I pray that I will wield the wisdom of God and the help of the Holy Spirit to be vitally connected to my children in ways that will make God proud.
This is not to say that you are not worthy of appreciation. Even the best of fathers cannot fill the God-shaped hole in every child’s heart. So you see why some children struggle to accept the love of God, hoping that He is not the unseen version of the imperfect fathers on earth, some of whom have badly represented God in words and deeds.
I must say that it took some defining moments for me to acknowledge that God is the perfect portrait of fatherhood. The One true father that every father on earth longs to be like even at their weakest. This understanding has brought me to a point where I can genuinely say that I am no longer bitter, and from the depth of my heart, I forgive you, I honour you and love you, dear father.
Happy father’s day.
© Adeleke Adeite