Carlyle Fielding Stewart III

Writings on Democracy, Social Justice, and Religion

“Daddy, Don’t Go!”

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The child tugged hard on her father’s arm to stop him from walking out the door. “Daddy, don’t go,” she said. “Daddy please don’t go.” The father turned to his daughter as he stood in the doorway. “I have no choice sweetheart. I have no choice,” he said tearfully, his voice cracking. He then walked out the door.

The child’s father and mother had just had another painful argument and her dad decided to leave the home forever. Before that turning point the entire family had been in turmoil for months, struggling to pay bills, feed the family, put gas in their 12 year old car which was on its last leg. Every turn of every day was filled with stress, uncertainty and grief. Every day was a monumental fight to make ends meet. The pressure finally caught up with the family. Those parents and  children – along with so many others – became the casualties of family wars. Lives shattered, promises broken, dreams extinguished, due to irreconcilable differences between fathers and mothers.

This past Fathers Day we recounted the too often told tales of fathers leaving their families behind. But, more, we also  celebrated those heroic examples of men who are not just fathers but who are dads. Men who love, serve and care for their wives and children; men who would sacrifice their lives so that their families can have a better chance at life. We have many good examples of good dads who truly mentor, teach and care for their children. They are men who are emotionally, spiritually and physically present for their families. They are the “rocks in weary land.” The “mighty fortresses” that guide their children out of the darkness of dangerous life choices, into the light of hope, redemption and success.

But the sad fact also remains that there are too many children left “out there” with no one to teach them and fend for them. They are without the strong male presence that can guide, strengthen and build them up into young adults and fully grown persons. Their fathers have gone, left them behind. They feel abandoned, wondering what life would be like if their fathers were actively present in their lives. We have heard this story too often. We have seen this story too much.

We need our fathers. We need our fathers to stay and not go. To be continually present in our lives, to remind us that they care for us and are there for us. And, if for some reason they cannot stay and must go, then please reach out to the children to let them know that you still love and care for them.

We need our fathers. Daddy, please don’t go!


One response to ““Daddy, Don’t Go!””

  1. Antoine Geffrard, M.D. Avatar
    Antoine Geffrard, M.D.

    Dear Pastor,
    What a great commentary. It is such a poignant reminder of the high price we pay for living according to our own will and not GOD’s. I am a divorced father. While I would, if I could, change so much in my life, I realize that my mistakes are difficult to trace backwards. Where would I begin? From my beginning, I followed my own mind in the context of a culture that not only encouraged, but facilitated that very thing. I knew not GOD.
    But, GOD pursued me. Despite the bondage my decisions increasingly produced in my life, GOD became flesh to save my soul, and I have faith in this. I’m forgiven for my sins. I’m being perfected and brought into service to GOD, now and for eternity. I’m free to NOT sin. I’m free to pray for my children. I’m free to be a man of god. When I divorced my children’s mother, I was not. While I’m sorry for my sins, I’m no longer ashamed of them. My sins have been forgiven and GOD receives the glory for cleansing my filthy heart. If a man is resuscitated after a catastrophic life ending injury, would he diminish the relief he received from the doctor who saved him by saying “oh I wasn’t that bad off…but, yes he did save me”. No. the saved man would stand on the table and declare to everyone how terrible off he had been, and how close to death he was, when the miracle working doctor to a hand. I declare that I’m a sinner, and was in darkness, and on my way to hell when GOD saved me. I’m a trophy of His grace and mercy, and I’m so glad. Our men need to know and obey GOD’s WORD, for in it are the practical directions for living a life free of the mistakes we are bound to make without HIM. There is no other way, and we really should stop trying to find one.

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