Just some thoughts:
A lot has been written and said about David. He's the guy with the slingshot, a war hero, king, had a famous affair, a dysfunctional family, plotted to have a man killed and the list could go on and on. As another Father's Day approaches I'd like to remember a story that is told of David that involved he and a man named Jonathan.
As young men David and Jonathan became very good friends. One writing describes this relationship "as souls that knitted together." Over the years they came to have a special friendship, a special bond. Over time Jonathan would be killed in battle along with his father Saul. David's grief over this death was great. (II Samuel--"David ripped his clothes to ribbons."
Life goes on and David becomes King. He has made it to the top. Time and events pass and one day David asked "is there anyone left of Saul's family?" Saul was Jonathan's father and had been David's number one enemy during much of his early life. Strange question one might ask especially when the one you are asking about certainly did you no favors. David ask that question because "I'd like to show him some kindness in honor of Jonathan." (II Samuel 9:1) There was a servant in David's court who had been a servant of Saul's and heard about the request. He came to David and told him, "yes, yes there is." But there was a "but" in that answer. (Seems that often is the case.) "Well there is this kid but he was dropped by his nurse when he was a baby and hey he's a cripple. You know the kid is lame in both feet." Kinda like you might want to leave well enough alone.
David was told that Jonathan's son name was Mephibosheth. (Personally I would have called him Mike for short.) David sent for him. He comes to meet David. Now can you imagine what thoughts must be going through this guy's mind as he approaches the palace? "Oh, oh this can't be good." During those times when kings won wars they pretty quickly took care of their enemies and especially family members of those who had been in power. Get them out of the way so they would be no threat.
The "Message" bible has a great line Mephibosheth says as he is shuffling and stammering his way before David.
Can you imagine his surprise when David tells this young man that he wanted to do something special for him in memory of his grandfather, Saul and his father, Jonathan. I bet he did a double take when told by David that everything that once had belonged to his grandfather and father, land, whatever, everything would now be given back to the family through him. The real kicker, Mephibosheth was told, "from now on you will take all your meals at my table. You will sit at my feet the rest of your life. You are part of my family."
This son of David's good friend Jonathan would now be given status in the king's family. Things would now come to him for the rest of his life that previously would never have happened. No way. He would for the rest of his life be given a place of honor and respect.....all because of one thing...or rather all because of one person. His dad, his father.
On this Father's Day 2016 may I suggest that we take a moment to reflect upon the goodness that many of us received because of our fathers.
Personally I shudder to think what my life might have been like if my adopted father had not come into my life. I say special pray and words of thanks.
I hope you have been as fortunate as I.
June 16, 2016