Daddy's Love

A son's disobedience is met with the goodness and grace of a father’s love.

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Posted in , Feb 2, 2015

Gabriel and his dad.

One evening, a couple of years ago, I returned home after a women’s Bible study. It was easy to sense, from the moment I stepped through the kitchen door, that the mood was solemn. Still.

Not at all the wild, wrestling kind of feeling that usually met me at the back door.

I kicked my shoes off and left them on the mat in the kitchen. “What’s up guys?” I asked as I walked through the dining room.

My guys were crowded around a game board on the living room floor. For a moment I smiled at the scene, but then I noticed the window behind them.

Gabriel and his dad.My 150-year-old, showcase-the-river-view window had been damaged. There were cracks. Fine lines that stretched out from a fractured center. And someone had covered the cracks with clear, wide tape.

My window looked like a spider web. A sprawling web of brokenness.

“What happened?” I could hardly get the question out. All activity ceased. All eyes were on me.

That’s when tiny Gabriel stood. He brushed his blond hair away from his face and shoved his hands into the pockets of passed-down Levis. His toes curled in his socks. He took a deep breath. And he looked me straight in the eye.

“I broke a rule,” he said. “I threw a ball in the house. A golf ball,” he said. “And I’m sorry.” He looked to the ground and scuffed his toed sock across the hardwood floor. Remorse pressed on his shoulders like physical weight.

Then he looked up.

And when he did, his small face was bright with wonder.

“But my Daddy,” he said. “He still loves me.”

His sweet mouth turned up, just a little at the ends. His wide, green eyes took my heart.

I stood still for a few seconds, moved by this moment. Then I went to Gabriel and held him in my arms. Something precious had happened between father and son. Something sacred.

Grace had filled this room.

Though it’s been awhile back, I’ll never forget that night or the pure, fresh beauty of my small boy’s face. It was a precious thing to witness, to understand, to see with my own eyes.

The goodness and grace of a father’s love.

After all, isn’t this the way the Lord is with us, too? We sin. We mess up. We disobey. Our choices don’t always represent an odedient heart because the heart often has a will of its own. Things happen.

Our choices can cause our circumstances to break like glass. But the Lord, when we repent, meets us with mercy and grace.

And love.

And forgiveness.

And acceptance.

Oh, the perfect, life-giving, spirit-securing, grace gift of our Father’s love!

The window stayed that way for the rest of the winter season–fractured and mended with tape. It was deep into spring before we could have someone come to repair it. Funny thing, though the tape obstructed our view of the river, when the time came, I was sad to see the broken pane go.

It was a perfect daily reminder of our Father’s love.

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