You have probably seen, and chuckled at the advertisement on TV centred on a video call between a young man and his dad. The two live in different worlds, the dad is with his wife, an avid walker, and his animals, at home on the farm in rural Ireland, while the very handsome, successful son obviously lives in the city and seems totally at home there. When they are on the video call to each other both seem delighted to be having the chat. The dad isn’t the best with the video feature on the phone, we see the top of his head, the farmyard, cat and mug of tea more than his face as he walks and talks. The son must be on zoom calls all day, neatly groomed, face lit perfectly and sitting still, looking directly at his dad. Still, the call works well.
At the heart of the call is a question, “How are you dad?” and it’s not easy to get a straight answer, nothing more than “Sure you know yourself.” The dad is a little evasive, maybe he hasn’t been well and certainly he is not going to burden his boy with any reporting on what the doctor said, or share any worrying prognosis. The son smiles and accepts his dad, just as he is. The love between them is warm and affectionate, rooted in concern that the other is well and no doubt many more calls will help them stay in touch, affirm their love and express the depth of their relationship.
To me, this is an apt modern parable for Father’s Day. Stay in touch, express your love, be yourself and let the other be free. God would want no more than that today.