There is a theory which states that your image of God will be much influenced by your image of your own father. Your image of the Church, on the other hand, derives greatly from your picture of your mother. I don't know if it's true - such things are hard to measure objectively, and it's easy to squeeze the data into whatever mold you like. But it's intriguing, and I've always thought it possible.
For those of us with zero full-fathers and/or multiple partial fathers, this is of course problematic. I have always thought my situation, having 3 fathers with serious limitations all, was a spiritual obstacle. It occurred to me Sunday that I might turn the lack into an advantage: design my own father. Perhaps that's what I was starting when I wrote Gardener, below, though I wasn't thinking it at the time. Suspecting that, I don't know if I can write more of it cleanly. We'll see. I'll certainly spin it out, and see how it works.