When I was a little girl, younger than 5, I used to be so excited for my dad to come home.
“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” I would scream wildly as I ran to meet him at his car. He worked a respectable, full-time job, and I felt the reassurance and safety of his love when he responded to my screams with equal excitement and laughter. He crouched down to meet me, bear-hug me, and kiss me.
This is just a blip, a short moment saved in the memory of time. As is often the case with mothers and fathers for many of us, we can readily remember those hurtful things, the moments we realized our parents are just people, with pasts and memories stored up of their own parents. It’s something like learning about Santa. The magical glasses we’ve had the ignorant and childlike bliss of looking through are taken off and we see flesh and brokenness, theirs and our own.
Today I was worshipping. I was worshipping in the face of a difficult circumstance, and feeling like I needed a defender ASAP. Living in community rubs like sandpaper sometimes. It can smooth you if you let it, or it can drive you crazy enough to throw your hands up in defeat. Over the last three months I’ve acquired a sizable collection of “I’m so over this!” thoughts, each time realizing anew that this is a dead-end street. Coming to the end of self is always good – unglamorous and gritty, a feeling like being found in your birthday suit in front of a crowd, but so good.
So I worshiped. And after spilling out in song and honesty, whispers and cries, I lay down. “Just talk to me, God. I just want to hear you.”
“I’ve got something for you.”
And I saw me running towards my dad, screaming, “Daddy! Daddy!” equal parts delighted to see him and hoping that he had brought me something. I always expected from him – I trusted his love and acceptance, and expected a present of some kind. Something he had picked just for me – candy, a dress (a denim jumper with a sunflower on it comes to mind), or a trip to the park. My delight was sheer and overwhelming in those moments. Daddy’s home! Love and presents!!
Love and presents!
Our Father speaks our heart language. He uses memories and significant things to us to woo us back into trusting him, back into his love which never faltered or changed along the way. He’s got something for me and you that we can expect and be sure of, something we love, something just for you. He’s a good Dad, and he always has whole, accepting love and awesome presents when we run to Him!
May we be more childlike than ever in our expectation of Him!