Chapters 11 and 12 in Richard Rohr’s “From Wild Man to Wise Man” really had a profound effect on me. I found myself putting the book down and reflecting on my own father hunger and father wound. How did they affect me? How do the hunger and wound manifest themselves in my life? What I discovered about myself was amazing… waking-up-at-4am-amazing.
According to Rohr, much of the human race experiences a deep “father hunger.” The “pain is quiet, hidden, denied, and takes many shapes and forms that sons cannot even grasp–or care to grasp.” We grow up without a good man’s love, without a father’s understanding or affirmation. So, we always hunger for it, finding it in any older man who will offer it to them: in the military, in the business world, in hierarchical churches… seeking to be approved by their superiors. A father’s response is the first response of an “outsider.” A mother’s love is “body-based” and is assumed, taken for granted and relied upon instinctively, “which is why a foundational ‘mother wound’ can be even more devastating to one’s very core.” He believes that what Judeo-Christianity was trying to communicate in seeming to prefer masculine metaphors for God is to heal this deep and pervasive father wound. “God is that loving and compassionate Daddy they always wanted.”