Sunday, September 22, 2013

When Your Father is Calling Your Name

She sat on the porch swing beside me.  One of the toughest 20 something young women I know.  But at that moment, her legs crossed, eyes intent on the man in front of her, all I could see was a little girl, 5 years old, being called upon, as a father calls upon her daughter.

I couldn't help but see myself before my Father in Heaven.  It was as though He was whispering to me, "Pay attention daughter, this is my heart for you."

I watched my husband choke back tears as he told her God was asking him to love her like a daughter.  He knows the mistakes he's made and the broken inside of him, yet when God calls upon him to do something, he doesn't take it lightly.

Two nights prior, this young women called across a yard to me and a few others she trusts...   I'm looking for a dad...she yelled as she blanketed her horse.  I looked at the other women and asked what she said. Someone repeated her words.  I've seen the determined in this girl, and I've listened to her life goals.  This girl knows how to work.  to fight.  to move and shake. We had been talking about looking for a husband.  No one said anything about looking for a father.

But isn't it always in a child's heart to find her Father?  Hasn't God promised to write eternity on hearts?  An eternity with Him?

My heart stilled and stuttered.  How could I break it to her that you don't just go and find a father?

Later that night, "looking for a father" came up again.  I told her that it may not happen here on earth.  I told her that sometimes God doesn't answer that prayer.

The next morning, my husband comes home from work and says, "I need you to call her.  I need to tell her that I will be there for her-we will be there for her.  That we love her.  That I will love her."  He's talking about the same girl I had just told less than 24 hours ago that her hope of a father figure on earth may be in vain.  I hadn't said anything to him about the conversation that went on in the wee hours of the night.  I hadn't even had time to talk with him yet.

Overwhelmed,  I broke down sobbing at the Sovereignty and love of God. She'll think we're lying, I told him.  She'll think we talked and we planned this.  He looked at me crooked, and I went on to explain how just.last.night she told me she was looking for a father.  And I told him how I pretty much told her to close that book  'cause you don't just go looking for a father.  Of course, in her determined way, she looked at me and said, "Well, I'm going to try."  hmmm.

He knew it would scare her if he called.

Doesn't a Father always know the best way to reach His child?

I called her, and she came within hours. She admitted she was scared 'cause why would Jim want to talk with her. I've known this fear of being offered something.  I've known this fear of someone offering a free gift of love and being so very scared.  I watched my husband unfold his heart for this young woman that we've both grown to love so much. I know how hard it is for him (how many times has he asked God to give him a love for people anyway???).  He told her he was offering the gift of a father, imperfect love, for sure-he told her. I watched him walk headlong into what God was asking of him, yet muddling his way, clinging to his Father, as his words came out.  I'm not sure of even what it looks like, he said...You don't have to accept this offer.  There are no expectations of you.  I just want you to know you have a place here.  A safe place here.

When she finally spoke she told us that her father died this month, twenty some years ago and how she often struggles during this month.  She told Jim how she doesn't even know what to say.  Later she whispered to me as she walked out the door:  I hope I responded right. (smile).

Can one ever respond wrongly to the free gift of love?

Along with my husband, I don't know either.  I don't know how this looks-uncharted territory for sure. I do know my Father and His heart for the fatherless.  I know He loves and loves and loves. His love is steadfast.

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you...