Father Wound

We are wounded, without and within.

Wounded without is detectable, easily attended to.

Wounded within is like a busted underground water pipe.

Water gushing aggressively to the surface, the only evidence of brokenness.

I grappled with a wounded little boy like a wounded animal.

Wild with rage.

Wild with tears.

Wild with resistance.

Wild with aggression.

Like a relay, I ran the third leg to calm, to comfort, to control the rage of fighting hands, kicking feet, screaming mouth, and tearful eyes.

My strong arms wrapped around this tiny and fragile body, but the wounded resisted the comfort of male and female hands – our hands battered, bruised, and blued by tiny clawing fingers.

Sweat oozing from overworked skin pores, muscles strained from constant clutching, and feet squashed by tiny but hard stomping feet.   

Gently but firmly containing this fighting little giant, I asked,

“What’s the wound within that’s resisting the most basic human need, the need for a hug?’

The answer came only when the fourth member of the relay team – the father – arrived to receive the baton.

In the father’s presence the inner wildness of the wounded dissipated.

Observing the miracle of the father’s presence came the answer to the deeply buried broken pipe – the father wound.

The father wound – the cracked bucket unable to contain the water of motherhood.

While the three members of the relay team of care, compassion, and comfort played our role, we needed the fourth team member – the father – to soothe and lick the father wound.

With calmness, the father took the wounded into his care…

And the childlike innocence returned, but the inner father wound remained.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, for healing the father wound.

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