A Father Who Provokes

Fathers, do not provoke your children so that they will not lose heart.  Col 3:21.

… Somewhere in the course of time, he became indifferent towards me and I towards him. This was noticed by my mother and my siblings, who made light of it at times. Once my relationship with “Daddy” began to spiral downhill my mother spent a lot of time keeping me away from him. I never bonded with him. My attempts at bonding with him were horrible failures.  All efforts were met with disillusionment because of his dark, twisted hostility, and senseless abuse. One memorable event when I was 8 years old sums up how I was treated by him.

I always sat to his immediate right at the dinner table. From time to time he would play and hit me jokingly, so I thought. This time he hit me, and I laughed and playfully hit him back. In a flash, in an unexpected turn of events, with no time for thought or action… all I saw was his huge black hand splitting the air towards my face. At that moment, he had backhand slapped me so hard that I fell back from the table with my mouth bleeding. I was embarrassed, hurt, disoriented, and filled with rage and disappointment. As these emotions battled within me. He sat towering over me… and in his “Bama, drill sergeant, menacing voice” said don’t ever hit me back when I hit you!” As I attempted to crawl from beside the table, my brother and sister set silently, frozen in fear. “Nate!” My mom screamed… “That was not even necessary.” Unable to collect myself from beside the table my body immediately jerked and heaved, and everyone gasped in disgust as I instantly vomited my meal of rice and gravy, green beans, pieces of chewed beef, bread, and red Kool-aid on him and on my place setting. As I attempted to make it away from the table, I was aided by my mother who had rushed from the other end of the room and began to help me from the table. My brother and sister thought it was funny after they realized what had happened.  My mom ignored him as he commanded… “leave his sorry ass alone!”

The fact that I ruined his meal was poetic justice because of his assault on me.

 

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Author: Henri Whitfield

Dr. A. Henri Whitfield is a free lance writer of non-fiction inspirational stories. He is trained and experienced in family ministry, church administration, and non-profit management. Dr. Whitfield has a Master of Theology in Pastoral Ministry and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in Marriage and Family Ministry.

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