Tony’s Problem With The Lord’s Prayer

Blog 2430 – 06.20.2022

Tony’s Problem With The Lord’s Prayer

My brother and I met two brothers at the little church my mother started taking us to shortly after her youngest brother Richard drowned in 1961. The brothers names were Tony and Art Metcalf. We attended Sunday school together for those formative years of our lives, from about ten to eighteen years old.

I recall staying up all night at a teen weekend church camp retreat and talking with Tony. We shared our life experiences and our beliefs and I remember that Tony shared a big problem that he had with the Lord’s Prayer, the very beginning of it, the first five words, “Our father who art in heaven.” Tony said his problem with that was that he just could not grasp the concept of a heavenly or perfect father. His birth father had never been in the picture nor expressed any desire to be a part of his boys lives.

My dad was far from perfect but he stuck around and did his best to provide for my mother, me, and my brother. I am not as sure as I once was about the Lord’s Prayer, but after forty-two years as a father myself, I can tell you my most earnest prayer has been, “Please, don’t let me screw my children up.” And no, that is not the precise wording of my father’s prayer, but close enough so that you can get my drift.

I recall a story of a dad trudging out in the deep snow heading to the local bar to knock back a few beers with his mates when he looked back to see his little boy barely out of diapers straining and stretching to step into his deep boot prints in the snow. With a big smile he looked up at his dad and said, “Daddy, I am following in your foot prints.” The dad grabbed him up and carried him home tears in his eyes. Every loving dad hopes his children will turn out better and go farther in life than he has.

I am proud of my son and his accomplishments. He has overcome a lot to get to where he is in life today. He and his lovely wife Lauren have been married a little over a year and are thinking about having a baby sometime soon. Much as my wife and I and Lauren’s parents are anxious to be first time grandparents, I am sure we all hope Jay and Lauren will take plenty of time and get to be a couple before a child comes along and changes everything, and they do, marvelously and maddeningly.

For everyone who believes in the Lord’s Prayer especially the last part, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” the best parents still wisely pray, “Please don’t let me mess them up.” and hope with all their hearts that that prayer will be answered.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White


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