A Father’s love

We can freely greet the Father anywhere, anytime, and without any hidden agenda.

“Wait ‘til your father gets home!” How many times did my miscreant behaviour provoke those words from my mother’s lips? Make no mistake – Ma had a penchant for law and order and she was quite capable of meting out immediate discipline. But this was her trump card for especially exasperating infractions. Did she realize how that single sentence would strike remorse into my heart?

First of all, if she wasn’t willing to deal with me herself, I knew I had really stepped over the line. Not good. Secondly, if Pa doled out the punishment, it might very well be something tougher than swift justice from Ma. Third and most devastating, her report of my misdeeds would put me on the outs with my father. And that was something I truly did not want to happen.

As “Daddy’s girl” I had no competition. My only sibling was my brother, eight years my senior. Their relationship was great, but it was a totally different dynamic. I was literally Pa’s fair-haired little girl. One of the things I remember most and loved best about my father was that he genuinely enjoyed my company, as I did his. Whatever jeopardized that harmony was deeply troubling. So on those days when Ma was unhappy with me, I’d sit by the window and wait for his car to pull in.

I skipped out to the garage and took his lunch box from him, then grabbed his free hand and cheerfully accompanied him to the house. “How was your day,” I’d ask, with all the innocence I could muster. “Oh, just fine,” he’d say with a smile. “And what kind of trouble did you get into today?”

I was righteously indignant. How could he think I had some ulterior motive for greeting him so sweetly? He was right, of course – there was more to the story than spontaneous hugs. On such a day I decided that I should greet Pa more often when there wasn’t anything to feel guilty about, because I truly did love him.

He died when I was 19. It broke my heart.

Repentance & joy

His illness and death launched my search for the serious truths of life. All of the stories and lessons passed along to me by teachers, Sunday school leaders and loving Christian neighbours began to make sense. At last I knew – really knew – that I have a Father in heaven who loves me like no one else ever could.

During this Lenten season I often focus on Christ’s suffering and death – how he paid the debt I never could, all because of my sin. My eyes mist over when I consider the pain I caused and the price it cost. It’s right to come before the Lord with a humble heart and a bowed head.

Repentance is due and reverence is required. It’s also important to remember this joy – I can freely greet my Father affectionately, anywhere, anytime, and without any hidden agenda. We are at peace. Completely. By his grace.


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