“Behold, children are a gift from the Lord…
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…” – Psalm 127:3,5
My pastor asked me this week to recall three things my father, Rev. Alfred Daniel Williams King taught me. I quickly responded this way. Daddy taught me that Jesus walked on the water, and he calmed the seas. I believed my daddy, and he taught me early to follow on to know Jesus. Daddy gave me my “sweet sixteen” birthday party, and my first set of pearls. He taught me that I am a pearl of great price, a jewel to be treasured and never abused. He taught me all about civil rights and human rights, and took me on marches and to protests, and taught me to approach civil unrest with prayer, love and nonviolence. These three memory gifts I shared with my pastor and his wife. I didn’t mention that Daddy taught me how to cook, how to swim, how to discern between friends and enemies, and so many more things. He gave me the gift of 23 chromosomes, which are part of my life. Daddy gave me my name. Al (after him) Veda (life) Celeste (to get me as close to Heaven as he could he said). The name King spans generations, from Africa and Ireland, and my mother’s father was part Native American. My Daddy gave me so much during his lifetime, that there isn’t room to tell all. I miss him so much.
My Daddy and Granddaddy saved me from abortion in 1950. My mother Naomi Barber King was a young woman starting her first year in college, and she was approached by the Birth Control League (which later became Planned Parenthood) with literature about “women’s rights.” They were saying that a baby in the womb was a “lump of flesh” and that women didn’t have to stay pregnant if they didn’t want to. Abortion was illegal in those days, so a procedure called DNC was recommended. Mother’s mother, Big Mama Bessie wasn’t buying this, so she took Mother to see my grandfather, Daddy King. Granddaddy told Mother, “Neenie, they are lying to you. This isn’t a lump of flesh, she’s my granddaughter, I saw her in a dream three years ago. She has bright red hair and fair skin.” Daddy King had a dream, and his dream is in my genes. The King Family legacy is filled with dreamers, my famous uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being the most noted among us.
In celebrating Fathers’ Day this year, I am reminded of another father, American Idol judge Steven Tyler. In his recent book, he tells his story about being there when his son was aborted. I am reminded how much abortion affects not only the babies in the womb, not just the mothers of the babies, but the fathers too. I’m wondering if actor Russell Crowe ever thinks about this? He recently tweeted, “Abortion should always be a woman’s choice, there is no benefit to ‘forced’ motherhood…you got it? don’t like it then bye,” which was in contradiction to an earlier tweet about circumcision in which among other things he said, “…Babies are perfect.” and that he will “always stand for the perfection of babies, I will always believe in God…”
Today I want to celebrate fathers who along with the mothers of their children, choose life. I also want to pray with those post abortive fathers, and tell them about Rachael’s Vineyard and Silent No More Awareness. I’m a post abortive mother, and have found hope and healing after abortion. In his book, Redeeming a Father’s Heart, Kevin Burke says men need healing too.
Anyway, Happy Fathers’ Day to fathers everywhere.