Adrian Greiner is best known for playing Vince on the HBO series Entourage. Growing up in Brooklyn, Adrian struggled with the void of a fatherless home. In his early twenties he produced a documentary entitled A Shot in the Dark chronicling his search for his father. HBO aired the documentary in 2007, presenting the intense longing of a young man to connect with his father.
When I served as a student pastor in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, Good Charlotte was a popular alternative/punk band among many students. Two members of the band are brothers who grew up without their dad, and many of their songs are packed with deeply honest and heart-wrenching lyrics describing the pain of being abandoned by their father. One of their most popular songs, “Emotionless,” echoes the words, “You broke your children for life” throughout the song.
You broke your children for life. . . .
As a pastor, I have counseled adults who still struggle deeply because of issues related to their father. Some struggle with issues of security because of a missing relationship. Others carry bitterness because of painful comments spoken decades before.
The pain created by absentee fathers points to the longing of all humanity for a relationship with a father. The bitterness over broken relationships with dads reveals the need for intimacy with a father.
There is a desire in all of us to love and be loved by our father.
And our Father.
The desire to connect with our father is a God-given desire and a reflection of our longing for God, the ultimate and perfect Father. Just as the absence of an earthly father creates a void, the absence of God leaves people empty. Augustine once wrote in his Confessions, “The thought of you [God] stirs man so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you.”
Our hearts find no peace until they rest in our heavenly Father.
Adapted from Identity (2008, B&H Publishing Group)