I remember the day Stephen, my No.1 son was born. I remember carrying him in my arms. I remember carrying him and wandering all over the maternity hospital long after visiting hours were over. I couldn’t bear to let him go. The nurses finally caught on to us and took him back. My experience as a father kinda went down hill from that point.

Stephen turned out to be a tough kid. I turned out to be a typical male, concerned to prove myself in my career. Since I was a pastor, career building meant building a big and effective church. I left the bulk of Stephen’s parenting to Hee Ling, his mum. The day we discovered that Hee Ling had cancer, fourth stage, was my wake up call for a number of things.

I wasn’t sure how the cancer drama was to be played out. I just knew that I had better learn to be close to Stephen, and to Andrew, his younger brother. Hee Ling died about a year later. And so much has happened since.

Including my entry to “Being a Father 101”. Recently Stephen asked me for help with his math homework. I was surprised at the pleasure his request gave me. As did his request that we should talk more. I thought he wanted to talk about the birds and the bees. As it turned put he wanted to talk about everything–Spiderman, politics, ministry, rock music, the faith, life…

I love my boys. Poorly, yes. But I love them. And in doing so, I understand a little bit more of how much God loves us. And the meaning of verses like:

“Consider how great is the love which the Father has bestowed on us in calling us his children! For that is what we are.” 1 John 3:1a REB

The boys have lost their mother. But just maybe, they have found their father.