Monday, August 23, 2004

A Father-to-father connection

We have a nine-month-old in our house, and this weekend she was teething. Those of you who have gone through this with your kids can sympathize. There was an excess of drool and an absence of sleep for everyone involved.

I had a couple of thoughts while I was walking Amelia around the house in the middle of the night. First, she has no idea that the pain is ever going to end. For all she knows, this is just how it's going to be from now on. No wonder she's got this scared look and sound in her voice. And how often do I go through something difficult and wonder, Is this how life will be forever? Meanwhile, God walks me around the house in the middle of the night trying desperately to communicate with me: It'll be okay. This will soon pass. But I can't hear him over my own panic.

Second, it's hard when you can't take away the pain for your kids. It's perhaps the hardest part of parenting. There are times when all we can do is hold them and try to calm them down by telling them that everything is going to be okay. But we cannot make it stop hurting. And it made me wonder how God felt that Friday when his Son cried out, "Where have you gone?"

God knew that Jesus had to endure the suffering in order to be fully functional (Hebrews 2:10). I always knew that God the Son suffered on the cross. I even understood that God the Father had ordained it to be this way. But I guess I gained a greater appreciation for what God endured as a Father to secure my place in his Kingdom. And I think we shared a connection, God and I, a connection that went beyond Creator-to-creature. I can only describe it as a Father-to-father connection.

Maybe I am growing up just a little bit. And, oddly enough, for all the energy I spend trying to raise my kids just right (whatever that means), I think God is really using them to raise me just right, too.