For me, it was when I realised that my Dad was a man and not a superhuman.
Dad was the arc of strength and safety, encircling the universe and me in his arms. When I looked at him I saw myself: accepted, secure, loved. Nothing could harm me when he was there. Nothing could shake me from his still centre.
Dad knew everything. He didn’t get scared like other people. He governed our home with wisdom and might: he had answers for every question and he could chase away every shadow.
But one day I had questions that he couldn’t answer. Questions about Death. About life and God and Meaning.
One day there were questions I couldn’t ask. About my body – changing inside and out. And my mind – questioning the values I had always accepted. Stretching beyond the boundaries I had always cherished.
One day there were fears that Dad couldn’t banish. Places: physical and psychological, where he couldn’t come.
Spectres – in the classroom and in my heart. Voices that spoke louder than even his.
On that day, my Dad, a colossus of towering strength, came crumbling down. But my father hunger remained.
My dad is wonderful. But he’s a man, not a Saviour.
The same goes for my grandfather. My tutors at college. My vicar. Even my husband. Wise, godly men, who show me life – as they point away from themselves.
There’s only one man who can answer the questions my dad couldn’t. One man who shows me the Father I long for. The Father I need. The Father who will never let me down and never let me go.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”. (John 14:6-7)