LOST: Fatherhood


One day as John Locke worked at his job in the toy store a woman approached him to ask a question. Locke grew up being passed from one foster home to another. This woman claimed to be his birth mother. Following some investigation Locke is able to also meet his father for the first time. His father, a smooth talking con man is in need of a kidney. He places the kind-hearted Locke in a situation where Locke offers to give him one of his kidneys. In the hospital, after the operation, Locke looks to his left and notices an empty bed. His father has gone home for private medical care and now refuses to see him. Locke’s mother appears in the doorway and confesses that she needed money and received it in exchange for arranging the donation of Locke’s kidney. Conned by his own birth parents, Locke is involved in a series of events that leaves him paralyzed. In an irrational attempt to be a part of a walkabout, he takes a flight to Australia. Being turned away from the expedition, he gets on Oceanic Flight 815 for the return home. However, this is the plane that crashes onto the mysterious island. It is here that his paralysis is healed and he discovers new life.

If there is any theme in LOST that is stronger than the loss of fatherhood, I’m not sure what it would be. It seems that each of the characters has a bad relationship with their fathers. Whether it’s Kate blowing up her home with her abusive father in it, Sun’s Korean Mafia Godfather poppa, or Sawyer’s desperate father who kills himself in view of his boy – the fathers on this show are mostly a mess. Michael’s having a hard time being a father to 9 year old Walt, whom he only recently met. There’s Jack Shepherd’s dad, an overworked alcoholic surgeon who was booted from his profession when Jack exposed him for operating on a woman under the influence – she died. The mysterious Ben is either the father or step father of Alex Rousseau – and Ben is either a misunderstood good guy or a power hungry killer bad guy. Jin had a good father, but was ashamed of his blue-collar roots.

I think this loss of fatherhood is essential to the LOST storyline because it adds to the alienation, hopelessness, and desperation of the situation in which they find themselves. A father is supposed to be the one you can count on when everyone else has abandoned you. A father is the one you turn to when you do not know the way. A father is the one who imparts wisdom, offers leadership, and teaches by example. Most of the characters on this show had no experience with a dependable father. In a sense many of them were LOST before Oceanic flight 815 went down. The disconnect between the characters and their fathers drove many of them into the path that led them to be LOST together.

As I said in a previous post, LOST is a parable of our times … an exploration of our lives together on Island Earth. Never has there been a time when a fatherless generation wandered without wisdom more than today. I could go out on the internet and find statistics about the number of single mothers raising children without dads, the percentage of single dads who do not pay child support, or the crisis in mentoring organizations that exists because there are not enough male parental role models. Divorce is so common that it’s almost expected. I’ll let you do that if you choose. I think we already know it by observation. How many people reading this post today can identify with the loss of a father through disinterest or, worse, abuse? I can relate for sure. On the other side of the coin, as a father, I hope that I do not seem distant or disinterested to my children.

I think that’s one of the reasons why the Christian message is so important. The truth is that no matter how inadequate your father was, we have a Father who is totally accurate. Perhaps your father was abusive. There is a Father who has open arms and offers acceptance and love without penalty. Maybe your father was absent. God is the Father who is always present. Going through life needing wisdom that your father never imparted? There is a Father who will tell you everything you really need to know. Did you find it hard to please your Father, always falling short of his approval? The Father we read about in the Bible loves you deeply and will accept you for who you are. You will never have to earn his love.

Here are some Scriptures that I would encourage you to contemplate:

 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

John 14:23   “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Romans 8:14-16 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Unrelated to the above, here’s an excellent link for today: 12 Filtering Tips  For Better Information in Half the Time. How many of his tips do you already follow?

I’ll leave you with a preview of Season 4 of LOST.


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