In 1998, an obscure Canadian minister attended a pastor’s conference and responded to a call to come forward for prayer. In that experience, the man praying for Barry Adams saw a picture of Barry as an infant with God reattaching the umbilical cord to Himself. In Barry’s words,
“Near the end of the weekend, the speaker, Jack Winter, asked if I had wanted to be prayed for to receive a deeper revelation of the Father's love for me. As Jack prayed for me, I began to feel all the pain & disappointment of a little boy just wanting to be loved. In contrast to the emptiness, I also felt the incredible warmth of God the Father wrapping His arms around me. Wave upon wave of the love of God began to touch the deepest places in my heart that had been so wounded and discouraged as a child.
While I had always had a theological understanding of God as my Father, this was the first time that I had such a powerful encounter with God that impacted my body, soul & spirit. After encountering God in such a powerful way, I began to see the Father's love everywhere I looked in the Bible. It was like the 'lights had been turned on' and I could see the theme of the Father heart of God throughout the entire Bible.”
As Barry prayed to better experience God as Father, beyond a theological understanding, he sensed God inviting him to put scriptures that had been highlighted to him about God as a father in order. Barry created a power point presentation from his study with verses paraphrased from Genesis to Revelation that formed a love letter. He presented the letter as an illustration in a congregational sermon in January of 1999, and people in the church began to have intense and intimate encounters with God as the Loving Father for whom they had always longed.
Barry posted the Love Letter on the internet in November of that year as a free flash video, and within two months, the internet provider was almost shut down by all the people viewing the video at once. The response was so overwhelming that Barry was released from his pastorate to devote all of his time sharing the message of the Father heart of God around the world. This year, 2019, marks the 20th anniversary of the Father’s Love Letter, which has been translated into over 100 languages. The ministry is worldwide and still offers a wide array of downloadable resources free of charge via the internet (www.fathersloveletter.com).
As we celebrate this Father’s Day, let us all be encouraged that despite the failings of our earthly fathers, we all have a loving Abba-Daddy God who perfectly loves us, never leaves or forsakes us, and is always ready to welcome us into deeper and deeper experiences of His love, forgiveness, and security.
May God open your heart to be deeply touched as you read this amazing letter in the way He knows that you most need in order to experience his perfect love for you.
This Father’s Day, may God give us the grace to forgive our earthly fathers for their human failings, no matter how small or horrific. may we open our hearts to receive and experience how great the Father’s love is for each of us, and may this inspire us to better emulate His thoughts and ways toward us in our own roles as parents.
Article originally published in the June 2019 issue of The Carolina Compass.