It’s Father’s Day in the USA, so today’s post is especially apropos. It was originally published by Brooke in June 2007. It’s very edifying.
When my dad tells me he loves me, I know that he truly loves me. I can see it in his blue eyes and how they squint just so, tearing up. Sure, there were times I also saw disappointment or anger cloud those eyes, but first and foremost I knew love, and so the subsequent was always colored by it.
And when I think of him, I always think of his massive hands, veined and rugged. They seem the perfect symbol of who my dad is, a poignant contrast of rough and tender. As a child I was often scared at night and so he would pat my tummy. Later, when I was too big to admit I needed my tummy patted, he would lie in the hallway outside my open bedroom door and read the evening newspaper, far enough away so that I could feel a little autonomous but close enough so that I wouldn’t be afraid. And I would fall asleep listening to the crinkled dry sound of page against page.
When I call my dad on the phone now, I hear a voice that takes me back to everything I’ve ever known. To past conversations about who to marry, what to do with my life, how to solve another dreaded trigonometry problem”“ and to his advice, the sound of it like a curing poultice as it curled around my ears and told me to pray. And I remember the time he whispered a quiet good-bye when he dropped me off at college, and how I cried to leave him and to leave that childhood.
I understand my father’s love, and I can fathom it physically. I can easily call up a mental picture of him, and feel the way his palm presses against me as we hug, and hear the way his voice sounds when he sings with the radio, when he whistles. These things are as much a part of him as they are a part of me and my subconscious”“ the memories and moments that have shaped me. I don’t remember my Heavenly Father physically, but my dad helps me to understand the veracity of being shaped by a God as well, and how my thoughts and actions may be the direct result of the spirit I became in my Father’s presence.
My dad helps me begin to fathom the future day I will hold holy hands that bless, and recognize a voice that already knows my name. My dad, a mere mortal, who taught me what pieces of love he knew, helps me see the possibility of Heavenly Father’s perfect love. And makes me know that someday, I will see that love I know from my dad’s eyes in His eyes too. Only more-so.
Has being loved by your father on earth helped you comprehend (even in just the smallest way) the love of your Father in Heaven? And if you didn’t grow up with a father, has God helped you to understand one?