“I am going to go see my daddy,” my little girl told me.
We were at our business office, painting in her playroom at the time. “Wait,” I told her. “He’s in a meeting.”
She paid no mind to me. There, through a glass window that divides his office from her playroom, I watched as she stepped through his office door. I was prepared for her to be sent out, as the meeting was in full swing, and there were several people in the room.
Except, she did not get sent out. I gazed as she hopped on her father’s lap. I expected his agitation, but instead he embraced her as if she was all that mattered. He paused and looked into her eyes for a moment, because a moment was all she needed.
She slid off his legs, and her four-year-old frame fit perfectly under his desk as she crawled out. She trotted out his office door back into her playroom without a care in the world. She walked with a hop in her step, her face beaming, and a little more confident and secure in her father’s love for her than moments before.
And I stood astounded, but with my heart full.
I did not grow up with that kind of tender love from my father. I have a memory from when I was around five years old. My mother encouraged, “Go sit on your father’s lap.” The memory is faint. The moment was short, yet the impression has lasted my lifetime. Reluctantly and timidly, I climb on his lap. I felt nothing from him. He was like stone, rigid, and cold. As it was most of my life–my father was a stranger to me.
But through the picture window from that playroom, I understood a little more the love of the Father God for me–for us.
I thought instantly of Jesus when He said, “Let the little children come to me, and stop keeping them away, because the kingdom from heaven belongs to people like these.” Matthew 19:14How Jesus lived showed us how the Father loves.
For one reason or another, not all of us grew up with the kind, tender, accepting love of a father every child should receive. Not all of us grew up in homes where we were taught to have open hearts and open hands. Not all of us grew up knowing that it is okay to let people in and to be generous with our lives.
And the reality is because of the lack, some of us as adults are still learning to overcome insecurity and fears of rejection.
How can we possibly show hospitality–the love of strangers–when we ourselves do not know how truly loved and accepted we are?
The more we know the Father’s love for us, the more we are able to open our hearts and love and live freely. How much more acceptance will you be able to give, when you know how accepted you are? How much more welcome will you be able to show when you know how welcomed you are? How much more room at the table will you make for others, when you know there is always room for you at the Lord’s table?
The Father always has time for you, and you always have His attention.
In the end, all we ever really want is to be loved. Love comes from God. We don’t have to get God to love us by doing something right–even loving Him.
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 14:9
In our hopes and dreams and desires to be open handed and open hearted, let it be for a greater revelation of the Father’s love that we pray.
“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.” ― A.W. Tozer