Psalm 68:5   A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

On this Father’s Day, forty-six years since the passing of my own father, I stand in wonder at this verse from the Book of Psalms, and what it means to me.

I was ten years old when my father died.  I was a daddy’s girl and felt the loss of his love, care, and attention profoundly.  I have memories of him, the one armed man that was the centre of my world for a decade. These memories are snippets of life really, like a movie trailer, that jumps from scene to scene giving us just a hint of what the full story will be like.

Only, I won’t ever have the opportunity to fill in the gaps between scenes, those memories will forever be a chopped-up cinematic real in my head.

Daddy, that’s what he was to me, not dad, father or any version of that title, but Daddy, that intimate and emotionally charged word that punctuated every scene in the movie trailer of my early years.  

I am forever grateful that my father was the man he was.  It was three and a half years after his passing when I first heard someone speak about the father heart of God. On that night I walked towards a new relationship with a Father whose character was reflected in the earthly example I was so blessed to have, even for such a short time. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has that heavenly example. I am grieved too often when I hear friends and acquaintances talk about their fathers, the alcoholics, the workaholics, the abusers and the deserters.  I believe that our earthly fathers hold the key to understanding the Father heart of God.  When I learn of the sad father/child relationships, I can hear in my heart my Heavenly Father weep, and say – “I’m not like that.”

What a radical thing Jesus did by calling our Creator Father when his disciples asked him to teach them to pray. 

‘Our Father, which art in Heaven….” – It resonates within each and every person who comes in contact with that opening line to a prayer which can lead into a possible conversation. A conversation with a spiritual being seemingly removed from our everyday reality.  Those words can resonate with hatred, disdain, or joyful embrace.

David’s psalm also shows us the heart of the God he worshiped and followed.   He gave this text to the director of music at his royal court to be set to music – a song. 

I am grateful for the gift that musicians have been given. I wonder if David ever put his harp away, or did he still, in the midst of his royal court, and the gathering of professional musicians employed there did he still humbly strum and pluck the same strings he held while watching over his father’s flocks as a young man.

The following is one of favourite worship songs of late. It isn’t based on David’s song, but it is nonetheless moving.



I pray a blessing on the fathers of this world, that they would rise up to the challenge of the title they hold, however loosely or tightly.

I also pray a blessing for the fatherless, may you find a good, good father, in the One who made you and knows you best.

2 thoughts on “Father to the Fatherless”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *