My eleven-year-old daughter, Caroline, was really excited to dress up for her first-ever “pajama day” in middle school. She walked into the school in pink plaid PJ’s and pink house shoes, with a stuffed bunny under her arm. I didn’t see anyone else in pajamas, but I thought maybe it was only a sixth-grade thing. Pajama Day turned out to be a few upper classmen’s idea of a joke—and my little girl was the butt of it.
I had a meeting, so my husband Mike got the distress call. He went to school and checked Caroline out. He held her in our porch swing, wrapped his arms around her and let her have a good cry. She was humiliated because the older kids at school made fun of her. Mike told her everyone makes mistakes (even those older kids), and that she had to learn to laugh at herself and keep on going. He took her to get ice cream and then made her go back to school for the last hour, so she could hold her head up high and work past it with dignity.
While he put up a good front around her, it just about killed him, inside.
Mike has always been Caroline’s special friend. He could say things Mama just couldn’t. He worked with her through childhood fears, softball, and even math problems. He had several special date nights with her. I’ve watched him strive to love her the best he knew how.
When she received the safety patrol award in 5th grade, he was so proud (my, she held that safety flag like a pro 😀 ). When she made the honor society in High School, he was on the front row cheering. Last December, Caroline graduated from nursing school and he could not quit smiling. She asked him to pin her with her new nursing badge at the pinning ceremony. The glowing look on her face shows their deep connection–maybe she was thinking “look at what we did together, Dad.”
While Mike is a great dad, sometimes he kind of fumbles the ball…
Only one Father does not.
Seeing Mike and Caroline’s sweet relationship unfold helps me better understand the beautiful blessing we have in our relationship with our heavenly Father, God Almighty.
- When we are successful, our Father’s smile fills the heavens with light and our faces with joy. It’s as if God says, “Look at what we did together, Child.”
- When we hurt, His heart aches with deeper pain than we will ever know.
- When we suffer, He suffers, too, and never leaves our side.
- When we mess up, He picks up the pieces and makes something beautiful.
- When we mistakenly wear pajamas and everyone makes fun of us (or something similar), He wraps us in His arms and encourages us to keep going.
What kind of god wants to be a father to his people? Our God. He chose every believer to personally belong to Him. Jesus suffered and died to make it so. What a unique, rare and wonderful privilege for each of God’s children to call Him “Father” (Rom. 8:15).
Even though there are many of us, He is the best Father we will ever know. He has time for each one of us. He loves us with His whole heart. Unselfishly. Forever.
David paints the most beautiful picture of God as a Father on the canvas of Psalm 139. As you read each line, pause and praise God with me for the glorious way He cares for us:
You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts.
We praise you for taking such a keen interest in us.
You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions.
We praise you for watching over us.
Even before I speak, you already know what I will say.
We praise you for listening to us.
You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power.
We praise you for your protection.
Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.
We praise you for your greatness.
Where could I go to escape from you? Where could I get away from your presence? If I went up to heaven, you would be there; if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there. If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west, you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me.
We praise you for your constant Presence.
All of the flaws of our earthly fathers are made right in our heavenly one. He alone is God, the good, good Father. This Father’s Day, as you honor your father, remember to honor and praise your Heavenly Father, too. We are dearly loved children of God, so let’s live every day like it’s Father’s Day by honoring God.