“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” -Romans 8:14-16
I had a hard time falling asleep last night in spite of my exhaustion. I couldn’t get comfortable, my mind racing. Beside me lay my husband, not feeling well. I felt helpless and desperately did not want him to be sick as I was the week prior. I prayed. It started off praying for his health, then our little families health, then everyone I know, etc. Now with something to focus on, my mind raced through all I pray about frequently and quickly moved on to an array of subjects. Eventually, my mind slowed and the Spirit took over, leading me through a beautiful meditative journey.
An image of a toddler or small child held in great arms on an even greater lap rocking in a rocking chair. I am the child. I tilt my head up, trying to peak at the face of the one who holds me. There were only eyes – eyes like those of my earthly father.
Like when I was real young just the two of us were up watching Saturday morning cartoons in our pj’s snuggled together on the couch, at 14 or 15 during an honest, transparent conversation about my parents relationship and divorce and our own relationship, my wedding day, the first time he saw me holding my sons, when my mom died unexpectedly, and every time one of us must leave after a visit.
In these moments my dad’s eyes have shown with a brilliance of emotion – glossy, maybe sometimes teary, the outer corners lifted with pure joy. In those moments it’s not about anything either of us said or did, but the powerful bond of relationship and love we share. All of these moments have either been preceded or followed by him embracing me in his strong arms. Arms that no matter how much I’ve grown – have always made me feel small and tender because that’s how he feels about me.
Then comes the moment of release. Separation. Where I must turn and go about my life. And even though this part is the hardest, we both know it has to be done. But it’s the image of his eyes and the feeling of his embrace that carry me through the weeks, months and sadly at times, even years that pass between these moments.
And with this image the Spirit said to me “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts (LOVE) to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts (LOVE) to those who ask him. -Matthew 7:9-11 (NLT, emphasis mine)
My head on His chest my heart whispered for the first time “I love you, Daddy.” As He rocked me, I slipped into my slumber with similar feelings to the above, only unimaginably greater because my heavenly Father is immeasurably more than any earthly father.
Daddy, thank you for using these images to speak to me. Thank you for my earthly father and providing the moments with him to convey to me how much you both love me. Thank you for helping my heart capture something my mind knew not how to translate. I am forever grateful for you both. I love you!!