Fathered by God, equipped to parent

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

It happened a year ago ’bout now. I was standin’ in that beloved spot just there on the corner of Main and Six when she said it.

“She” is the co-owner of Main Street Coffee House, the place where I wrote and wrote, setting pen to paper, stories flowing over page after page. In the local paper.

So much creativity was birthed within those brick walls where the scent of coffee ribbons through the air. Where town folks meet and they greet. Where baristas smile and reach across counters, offering grace and good cheer shaped in cups.

So much life.

Over time, we’d become friends. Amidst the clatter and whir of machines, we’d chatted here and there, paths crossing in our ordinary days. Patchwork pieces feather stitched into a quilt called Friendship. And then, her story.

It was in August 2016. Their private Christian school was about to begin, and her father, a widower, had just given her a grand and wonderful gift. He had, she said, purchased a van. On purpose and FOR the purpose of driving not only her children, but her brother’s children to and from their school. Not once, but twice a day.

I recall feeling wordless. Throat thickening, eyes blurring, listening to her share such a rare and precious treasure as this: a father who loved her by loving her kids. 

In my own life, it is truly the Fatherhood of God that has transformed me. Healed me. Restored and strengthened and rescued me. God, the perfectly loving, perfectly holy Dad. He’s so precious! I relish, now, His parenting of me.

What gladdens my heart today is this–if a human father can be so kind and gentle and selfless and giving as my friend’s father was, then even he is but a dim reflection of the kind of Father that God is. In this sure and certain truth, our hope rests.

There is nothing good that we can be or do that He hasn’t been or done first. There is nothing tender and warm and wise and strong that can within us lie…that He hasn’t been first. That He isn’t, in fact, far more.

What a God. What a Dad! What a hope.

To Debra and Velinda and your siblings. Both your mother and your father were parented, first, by God. In that, they were equipped to parent all of you, not perfectly, but richly, and well. Velinda, they were so kind and encouraging to this first-year teacher. You may not know this, but they slipped me a handwritten card, a note of appreciation with a gift in it for me when you left the third grade. How it blessed me. 

You may be orphans in the earthly sense of the word, but I pray you will rely, now, on the wonderful, gentle Fatherhood of God more and ever more as you help each other walk Home. 

Where await your mother and your father and, best, the Father of us all. Amen.

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