The five of us were seated around my kitchen table, chatting easily, baby Connor placed on the edge where he sat in the protective curve of grandpa “Poppy”'s arms. Silently he surveyed the adults before him as the conversation flowed around him, studying each face with the pensive look on his own that we've come to know as “seriously Connor.” His daddy, Gabe, had been telling the group about the moment each day when he stops at the babysitter's house to pick up his boy; that instant when Connor first sees him, recognizes him, and then smiles so huge, arms flailing, body wiggling with delight at the sight of his dad. At that moment Gabe said his heart just explodes within him with love for his child; there is absolutely nothing that can be compared to the experience.
Minutes later I saw it for myself on a small scale, when Poppy passed the baby over to Gabe for some reason. Connor looked up to see who he was being handed to, saw that it was Daddy, and began to smile and rejoice, the details of which were lost to me because his back was turned my way. But facing Gabe gave me a clear view of him in that moment of connection with his child; his joy evident in the ensuing smiles, funny faces and baby babble between them, oblivious as they were to the conversation continuing around them.
How funny that we had been talking about knowing God...when God Himself suddenly entered the conversation with a picture instead of words. He showed us that knowing Him is more than just seeing what He has made, reading about Him in His Word, or living the life He has given us, acknowledging in the back of our minds somewhere that He created it all and is our Father and our Savior. Rather, it is those moments of recognition in the midst of our circumstances; those times when something in a situation unexpectedly clicks in our spirit, and suddenly we see His Face or hear His voice and laugh in the knowledge that that particular detail was deliberately planted to be discovered and enchant us by the Father who dotes on us. That moment which brings us such joy brings even more of the same to Him. In that instant with Gabe and his son, God showed me a fraction of the single-mindedness of the connection and the love burst of joy that exists between a Father and His child. It was for this that we were created; for fellowship with the Father... to gladden the heart of our God.
And so Father's Day approaches and we are busy looking for ideas with which to celebrate the dads in our lives, be they our own fathers, our husbands, our sons, or just a friend with a child. Maybe we should also add God to the list. Our Heavenly Father is actually the easiest to please, as the entire world around us is loaded with gift ideas... if we only had eyes to see and recognize Him in them. I frequently ask the Holy Spirit for help in finding gifts for others; how much more should I ask Him to help me to find God in the details of my life, that I might delight His heart once more?
Such a request requires a lifetime, rather than a few moments of shopping on a computer or an hour in a store. So I guess what we give God is our time... time to develop a heart that can't bear to beat apart from Him, eyes that look for His in everything around them, and a mind set on continual connection with the One who loves us best.
One day Baby Connor will be grown and gone, but his dad will still long for their initial bond to stay strong. And no matter how long we have walked with God, how spiritually mature we have become nor how busy we are with ministry for His glory, He still glories in those moments when we return to our youth and simply delight at the sight of His face.
“But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.'”
(Luke 18:16-17 NIV)