This book sings, offering the spitting rhythm of the guttural realities of brokenness, the rhyme’s pause that leaves the listener-reader breathless, and the drawn-out tones of a lullaby pouring from a full heart wrapped in the Heavenly Father’s overflowing love. Finding My Father: How the Gospel Heals the Pain of Fatherlessness by Blair Linne is the best book I read in 2021. You can find it on Amazon or 10ofThose.
Blair Linne has written a beautifully theological memoir detailing the challenges of growing up fatherless. Examined from theological, sociological, and personal angles, the lack of a father in her home cast a shadow on every aspect of Blair’s life as a child and as an adult. But God! the Father of all comfort, was drawing her into the light of His kingdom.
Fatherlessness is the elephant in the room. It is rarely talked about but extremely important. Fathers matter. I was experiencing the burden of something I was too young to name, the lack of something I was too alone to understand. . .I needed my father, and he was not there. p. 34
Blair details that the adult who experienced fatherlessness can continue to respond with patterns that reflect the lack. As she and her husband, Shai were married, they both had to learn new relationships and new ways of engaging. Blair includes a chapter written by Shai, “Becoming the Dad I never had.” In it, he writes of his anger toward his own absent father:
This preemptive rage towards him accompanied me into adulthood like an overbearing chaperone, always around to place restrictions on any fleeting moments of happiness I might experience with the cruel reminder that paternal abandonment cast a deep shadow over my entire being. p. 111
Without providing a veneer of simplistic answers, Blair explores the work of God in the life of the fatherless–and in the lives of all adopted by Heaven. “A fatherless child possesses no wound that our heavenly Father has not promised to mend.” p. 91. The reader, whatever their background will rejoice in the character and work of God the Father. “Sin ruins beautiful things, but grace restores what’s been broken, making it better.” p. 149.
Mrs. Linne recognizes that her experience of fatherlessness, that of absenteeism, relates as well to those who have suffered abandonment and abuse at the hands of their father. But the fatherless are not the only one who will find their story on these pages. Blair includes the single mother, the praying grandmothers, the newly married, the childless older single, the new dad, and the church shepherds in these reflections.
Her story is still being written, and, thank God, so is ours!