"My failure to provide for my children is intentional" & My father's ashes

I received an email stating that "sometime next week," they were going to spread my father's ashes. If I wanted to go, my aunt, my dad's new wife, and my brother were probably going to be there.

I sent back a reply, saying I had no plans to attend, but out of curiosity since my dad owned two residences, was the ash-spreading going to be in FL or RI? I got a reply, "RI, off Beavertail."

Beavertail is a lovely promontory with a lighthouse overlooking the Bay and was a favorite place my father liked to go. The family would take Sunday drives and would often end up there, the salty wind whipping, the whitecaps on the bay foaming, picnics on the hill, searching for periwinkles in the tidal pool.

It makes sense that they'd want to spread his ashes there. It will make for a poignant send off, and all three of those people who will probably be there will in all likelihood feel saddened and melancholy and perhaps smile wistfully at some memories. None of them are saved by grace of Jesus so none of them know the truth.

I do.

My father never repented of his sins and right now is in hell, paying for them. It is where he will be forever. There is nothing one can say at any kind of a trumped up ceremony, ashes flying in the wind over the sea. I will not be present when his ashes are scattered, but I will be present when his ashes are re-gathered and he stands before the judgment seat.

And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. (Revelation 20:13)

Knowing this, it is a hard thing, but I trust my Lord and it is a just thing. There but for the grace of God go I. John Prata's legacy is a sad one. His heart is expressed in the form below. His Trust reads thus:

The legacy of a hard and bitter man, angry and proud, is an eternal one that he will have to bear for all of eternity. It will be an agony.

It is a hard thing for a daughter, who still hoped against hope that somehow, she could make her daddy proud. That he cared. That somehow underneath it all, a dad really loved his children. That never mind the inheritance, somehow there would be a final letter, an acknowledgement, a word, saying, "It was all a mistake, I loved you after all." How can it be, that a father can coldly ignore his children while he is alive, then go to legal lengths to prove his rejection wasn't a mistake? Isn't blood supposed to be thicker than water? Triumph in the end? No, blood is only as thick as the sin that runs through it.

His rejection is being turned back upon himself at this very moment. He is learning the sin of exasperating and rejecting his children. (Ephesians 6:4). He is learning the cost of rejecting Jesus. (John 3:36). And he'll soon learn the finality of Jesus' rejection of him. (Revelation 20:15).

My sadness over my father is going to be short, not eternal like his. When I die, my inheritance will be manifold. My Father will never leave me or abandon me. I am provided for. The emotionality of wounds on this side are softened by knowing that I have a spiritual joy to look forward to of a real Father who provides and loves and cares and does not forsake His children. My sadness now will be wiped away by my real Father then. The contrast is stark.

--The legacy of an angry and bitter father who split his family and reveled in wounding and rejecting.
--The legacy of a compassionate and holy Father who gathers His family and revels in restoring and reconciling.

--The legacy of a proud and greedy father who held on to money more than love but now has neither- forever.
--The legacy of a generous and benevolent Father who delights in giving as one of many expressions of His unconditional love.

If my father sought to permanently hurt or wound by that final pen stroke on 15 September 2009, he is sadly mistaken. My real Father promises:

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind." Isaiah 65:17

I will be so consumed with the joys of the New Heavens and New Earth and being with Jesus that my mind will have no room to be wounded over the petty pen strokes of a man who for 50 short years was named a "father" to me, a relationship that will soon not even have any meaning, (Psalm 27:10) a person whom the Lord in His grace will allow me to forget.

Yet though his life was long, his memory will be longer, eternally long.
"Are there not many here that have lived long in the world, that are not to this day born again, and so are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and have done nothing ever since they have lived, but treasure up wrath against the day of wrath? Oh sirs, your case in an especial manner is extremely dangerous; your guilt and hardness of heart is extremely great. Don't you see how generally persons of your years are passed over and left, in the present remarkable and wonderful dispensation of God's mercy? You had need to consider yourselves, and wake thoroughly out of sleep; you cannot bear the fierceness and wrath of the infinite God." (Jonathan Edwards)
When my father woke, it was not to mercy but to wrath, it is too late for him.

No, I have the better part, the much better part. Peace with Jesus, an infinitely long communion with Him, and good and serviceable tasks to perform for Him, worship of Him, in short, enjoying Him forever. There IS a blood that is thicker than water, thicker than anything on earth or heaven. It is the blood of Jesus. This blood covers sin, sustains us as a family, keeps us in His fold.

This is much more pleasing to the Lord than the stained and angry soul that descends to the pit, with the daughter looking down and mourning that final rejection.



  1. So sorry about this, but am happy you know our Father in heaven. I have a very similar father, who is alive and i still pray for, but i appreciated you sharing this.

  2. Elizabeth,

    You have been saved from the wrath of God and so much more. This makes you very special to the Lord God, AND to us - your true family members in whom have likewise been Born Again! I feel a real bond with you. I believe that there are many other true Christians that feel the same way! We love you, we love one another, and we love the Lord Jesus Christ, we are the real family here!

    Your story sounds very similar to the story of my own Dad, and biological family. It is as if you wrote for me too - so thanks for expressing my heart too! I am grateful for you calling the shots as they are, and not doing like so many do by holding onto a false hope of thinking someone is with the Lord - when in fact they have died in their sins! Woe, woe, woe!

    I am reminded of the necessity of being lovingly relentless in praying fervently for the physically living, and then sharing the unadulterated gospel truth with them. Once someone gulps their last breath there is NOTHING at all that we can do for them! SIGNED, SEALED, AND DELIVERED - FOREVER! WOW!

    Rick Buffington :--)
    Metro Atlanta

  3. Though your father had forsaken you, the Lord has taken you in. And He is an infinitely better Father.


  4. I'm sorry, Elizabeth.

  5. Oh how my heart breaks to hear of a father so heartless and to reject his children. Praise God we have a Father who shelters us under the protection of his wings, who tells us only to be still and He will fight for us. May God bless you a thousand fold, for we are His adopted children--with the rank of first born son who receives a double portion of His blessing.

  6. It is a hard thing for a daughter, who still hoped against hope that somehow, she could make her daddy proud. That he cared. That somehow underneath it all, a dad really loved his children.

    I could substitute mommy for daddy and she for he. I can relate to this bc my mother abandoned us for the most part and I don't think I will ever shake this hope completely on this side. What a profound depth connects parents and children despite the pain they are capable of causing by sin. Thank you for the list of contrasts to our heavenly father.

  7. You are such a dear sweet woman Elizabeth and I cry reading this sad journey of your father and his rejection of his family. Weather he was a believer or not, he was your father and his rejection must be a very painful thing to endure. I am so sorry you had to go through it.
    I do however rejoice in your knowledge of our wonderful Savior and King who Loves you more than you can imagine. He will wipe away all your tears. I pray you find comfort until that day Elizabeth, my prayers are with you.

  8. I never knew my biological father. Although he lived about thirty minutes from where I never grew up I saw him once when I was about 10. He never spoke to me at that time. I grew up just kind of wondering about all that.
    One evening 15 years ago after an evening service my wife says to me your father called. I thought that she meant my stepfather. She said no your real father. I called my mother to see what she knew about it. She had told him that I had children and he wanted to see them.
    I called him and asked what I could do for him and he replied I hear I have grandchildren and want to see them. I was simply taken aback, there was how are you doing or nothing like that.
    I said I did not think that was a very good idea. He then got a little nasty and say's to me I have a right to see my grandchildren. Not even believing he would take a stance like that I said to him you have to have children before having grandchildren. I said I am forty years old you never made any attempt to contact me, write, send a birthday card or nothing. I told him that I cannot even begin to imagine how anyone knowing they have a child would not find a way to be part of that child's life.
    I did say that I would pray for him and that was the only time I ever spoke to him. He too never repented for if he had, he would have sought forgiveness.

  9. What a sad story of your father and sweet testimony of God's grace in your life. Psalm 27:10 is a balm to the souls of those who experience this kind of sinful rejection in this life. Grace and peace to you in God our true Father.

  10. I told him that I cannot even begin to imagine how anyone knowing they have a child would not find a way to be part of that child's life.

    Hi Jeff, My heart went out to you when I read your post because I know this confusing pain. Having children of my own, I am also mystified by the great absence of my mother throughout my life. Here and there she would drop in (I was one of four kids growing up, raised by a single dad) but that actually made it hurt worse and the inconsistency she still demonstrates, regardless of the fact that I will turn 40 this year, still affects me--not nearly as much as if I didn't have Jesus but since we're not in heaven yet we still have to deal with these things. It is very sad the way that Satan has successfully driven parents away from their children to pursue worldly passions. Staying in the Word to keep the Truth running through my heart and reminding me that I am a daughter of the King is a comfort. Although I don't put much stock in a lot of psychological labels there is a website called Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers which has also been helpful. Yes, we are all narcissists, but there are some who may go even beyond, to the point of abandoning their own kids. I pretty much feel that when we were out of sight, we were out of mind for her. By His strength we carry on. :)


    1. I share my story not to bask in anything but the profound grace of God. As much as the enemy might use even the dysfunction of parents to beat some in the ground, He gives to them that call on Him the faith to believe Him at His Word and to be called the son's and daughter's of the Living God.
      As a person seeks Him, he will find. Is it not better to have been in these conditions and to have been proven by it's fire?
      One of my most profound discoveries is in Matthew 16
      The ability to rise up and disallow what the enemy might do is within the grasp of those in Christ.
      Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

      16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

      17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

      18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

      19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

  11. sad story for your father. Yours is not, having found the truth in Jesus and saved by the grace of God, our Heavenly Father.

    as for inheritance: Romans 8:17

    And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him , that we may be also glorified together.


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