Thursday, March 24, 2011

Friday's Faith - Fatherhood... What Does a Father's Love Look Like?

Friday's Faith


What Does a Father's Love Look Like?

This morning Tommy was talking to our middle child, our son Nathan, who was expressing concern about his older brother Rollin who is soon (God-willing) going to be a new father. (!) {Yes! I am soon to become a Grandmother :) Sweet!}

Nathan was concerned that the adjustments to becoming a responsible father might be rather challenging for Rollin and voiced this by saying,

"I can't believe Rollin's gonna be a father. Well, I guess he needs to get used to changing diapers, and once he gets used to that, he'll be okay..."

(Talk about a naive, one-dimensional view of fatherhood!) Tommy disavowed him of such a simplistic view of fatherhood:

"You think that's the hard part?! That's the easy part! Changing diapers is the easy part compared to everything else...

"It's like you have to become a member of the Special Forces, in being in a state of high alert and being ready for anything at all times!"

He recounted a few incidents from their childhood to illustrate his point:

"Mommy and I had stepped out onto the patio outside the den of our first house when Rollin was about two years old and was busy playing just inside the house in the den..."

He went on to describe what I too remembered happening:

With his back to the opened glass door in the den, Tommy had overheard the pitter patter of little feet behind him, so he looked around and saw Rollin on his little push-car riding as fast as he could, heading straight for the opened glass doors and out toward the patio which was a good foot down (with two stairs down) between the den and the patio. But when Rollin got caught on the bottom lip of the sliding glass door tray-

his car abruptly came to a stop while Rollin's body came flying out the door...

At the same time Tommy was yelling, "NO!!!" he flew over to the patio door and caught Rollin's face in mid-air before it could hurl headlong past the two steps and down onto the concrete patio floor...


Then he recounted a memory of when Nathan was almost two, and he had climbed up the flight of stairs in the basement of our "new" house, and he was so proud of himself that when he got to the top step, he stood straight up and threw his hands straight up into the air (as if he were signaling a touchdown), which made him lose his balance, and his upper body started leaning backwards, back down toward the flight of steps ...

Tommy was up at the top of the stairs urging Nathan on, when,

in alarm, he saw Nathan falling backwards almost out of his reach.

Though Tommy's eyes showed alarm, his mind was working double-time - SAVE THE CHILD WITHOUT FREAKING HIM OUT SO THAT HE WOULD BECOME DEATHLY AFRAID OF EVER CLIMBING THE STAIRS AGAIN. - So, Tommy made a game out of it while grabbing Nathan quickly out of danger...

Nathan says now, the beginning to fall backwards didn't scare him as much as seeing the sudden terror written all over his daddy's face...!


Then he described the following incident that occurred when Merry Katherine was around three or four years old.

We were next door with all three kids at the neighbor's pool, when Tommy saw Merry Katherine walking down the side of the pool, headed straight for the deep end of the pool. Instinctually, he knew she was headed for the water. He was coming up out of his chair as she had just begun to jump into the water. (Nathan says - "It was like he was reading her mind, knowing exactly what she was planning to do...")

Springing out of the chair, Tommy was over to the side of the pool, scooping her up before she could even be afraid --

As she plunged under, he grabbed her straight up.

The boys said it seemed like it all happened in less than a second. Merry Katherine didn't even know she had been in any danger...


Tommy continued clarifying the real dilemmas of being a father to Nathan by saying,

"Then the real fun began when you all became teenagers..."

At that exhausting note, Tommy walked up the stairs to finish his coffee, already worn out before the day had even begun...


When Tommy told me about this conversation he had had with Nathan, I said,

"Isn't that interesting? They consume our lives when they're with us, and they continue to consume our lives when they leave us, (referring to Merry Katherine's having been killed, as our lives are now consumed with grieving her)."

Then I flashed to our Heavenly Father loving each one of us, His children, to an even greater degree!

And I began tearing up when I remembered His disclaimer in Scripture:

"And you think I would leave any one of my lambs behind if they got lost? No! I would leave the 99 lambs who didn't need Me, and go to whatever heights or depths needed to look high and low until I'd find that one little lost lamb who needs Me..."

(~my paraphrase of Luke 15:4)


No comments:

Post a Comment