Fatherhood, part 1

Hollywood tells us that only those we truly love are worth dying for. Jesus showed us a very different ideology. He gave his life for everyone who has ever lived, and who ever will live, regardless of the intimacy of His relationship with them. I have always had a rather naïve idea that I too, as an act of nobility and Christ-like beneficence, would be willing to die for anybody… even a complete stranger. But I also know that am human, and I am flawed. I am selfish, and I am afraid of many things. I know that I have hopes for how I might act… but when it came to the crunch, could I die for someone?

Looking at Asher, my 6-week old son, I suddenly realise that I have finally met somebody I am willing to die for. No ifs, no buts. I know it. I would do it tomorrow, even though I hardly know this little person… and he knows me even less. Yet I am willing to die for him, all the same time. To him, I am a strangely coloured blob that makes strange noises and moves him from one place to another. He doesn’t understand why I do the things I do. He certainly doesn’t tell me what a great Dad I am. He doesn’t express gratitude for my provision, or the sacrifices I have made for him. In fact, he doesn’t talk to me at all! What a cheeky monkey! I’m sure he has a vague concept that I exist, but he doesn’t know who I am, or the deep significance of our relationship. Yet I am filled with an inexplicable sense of love and pride when I gaze on this little life.

I wonder if this is how God feels about us. He is the first and ultimate father. We are all His children, though many of us do not know Him. We are still in that baby state. Some of us can’t even focus on our Father.. He’s just an amorphous blob, an idea. Some of us don’t even think He exists in any real or relevant sense. Many of us who know He exists have no idea who He is, or even what to call Him. Jesus? Buddha? Mohammed? We tend to express little gratitude to Him for His provision to us, or the time He spends trying to connect with us. We seldom bother to talk to Him, or take time to get to know Him more. We know so little about Him, and we all fail to some extent to grasp the significance of our relationship with Him. Yet He gazes on us with such love, such pride, wishing we would talk to Him more, get to know Him. Yet He is willing to die for us, even if we never do. In fact, He died for humanity knowing that many of us would never even talk to Him. Such love beggars description.

However, speaking as a father, I so long for greater intimacy with my son! I will always love Him, but the delight that comes from a growing intimacy with him is what most desire. In the same way, God longs to become more intimate with us. He takes delight in every glance we throw His way. He wonders whether we will look at Him more tomorrow. Will we talk to Him? Will we understand, just a little more, how much He loves us? Will we let Him speak into our lives.. will we give Him the mana he deserves?

I am so humbled to be gifted the stewardship of Asher. By taking on this responsibility, I have been blessed a hundred-fold with a greater revelation of how deeply I am loved by the most perfect Father of all.

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~ by humblemonkey on September 25, 2007.

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