Two weeks ago, Carly and I were at Panera Bread for a brunch-time with the Lord. We sat across the aisle from a dad with his young son. This kid was pretty energetic, talkative, and pretty cute. I’m guessing he was no older than seven. At first glance, I thought, Cool, a dad on a brunch hang-out with his son.
Then I actually paid attention.
At first, I’ll admit. Their whole interaction distracted me from reading the book of James. But as the dad and his son interacted, my heart couldn’t help but break. I don’t know if there was significant amounts of eye contact. Dad acted as if his son was a burden. Dad could have cared less about the crazy stories his son told him — the kind only a seven year old can tell.
The boy seemed like a fun little conversationalist. Dad seemed no more engaging than a freshly painted wall. The boy asked Dad to take him to the bathroom. Dad sharply replied, “Can’t you go yourself?” “Show me where it is,” the son asked. Dad got up. “Over there,” he pointed.
This guy didn’t have a ring on his finger. Maybe he just didn’t wear one? No. Multiple times I heard him say to his son, “Your mom,” and the boy once said to his dad, “When will I come over your house?” He’s just a guy who divorced a woman out of convenience or got her pregnant and left.
This young boy needs a good dad. He needs a dad who loves Jesus, reads his Bible, romances mom, works hard, and looks his son in the eye and speaks as if he is talking to the most important person in the world when it’s brunch at Panera.
Sometimes I wonder what’s worse: a bad dad who ignores his son at Panera or just flat out leaves him before he’s even born. My heart says that there might be less pain in the latter. I’m a little tardy for a Father’s Day post, but to my dad, Tim Pruch, thanks for being a good one — a God-glorifying one. Thanks for taking us out, paying attention to us, and loving (and still loving us) like we mean the world to you.