Some years ago, I got into a relationship. The sense of anxiety and fear in that relationship was overwhelming. When we were together, I was great. But when I left him, I would feel very insecure, tense and weighed down.
I lost my appetite, lost weight and couldn’t sleep. My emotions veered from deep depression to over-excitement. I knew I was not fine – even though I tried to convince myself that I was. I didn’t tell anyone about the relationship because I wanted to be certain about things. It was rather…complicated.
One day, I got back home, tense, fearful and on edge – like an addict after the high wears off. My dad was sitting on his favourite sofa. We greeted, then, for no reason, I went to sit at his feet, making sure my body touched his legs. He moved his legs to make space for me – and I shifted again until my body leaned against his. He didn’t move his legs again.
I was a full-grown adult, but at that moment, with him, I felt like a baby.
I know he would have wondered because he was very intuitive and spiritual – and I wasn’t the touchy-feely kind of child – but he didn’t say anything.
We were both quiet for a really long time. After sometime, I told him goodnight and went to my room.
I know of a family friend who really wanted to get married. She went to meet her father (a pastor) and told him bluntly, “Daddy, I want to get married.”
Her father said, “So, what do you want me to do?”
She knelt down and put her head on his laps. She took his two hands and placed them on her head. “Oya. Pray for me now-now. I must marry.”
The father laughed, prayed for her – and she got married.
Two very different stories – but with one obvious similarity:
We both had a father we could trust and feel safe enough to share our vulnerabilities with – spoken or unspoken.
I remember reading the New Testament afresh some years ago. When I got to the Sermon on the Mount, a word jumped out at me:
It leaped out so much from that sermon, I began to underline it everytime I saw it.
It was as if Jesus wanted to brainwash the minds of the people into a new reality:
God was a FATHER.
That would be the first time they had heard that.
They knew God as YHWH, The Lord, Adonai – and a host of other names, but…Father?
The same God who parted the sea, sent fire from Heaven, killed the first male children of the Egyptians and gave all those laws and commandments was a Father?
That was a totally alien concept to them.
Even their own father Abraham – who had been a friend of God – hadn’t called Him a father.
Not even King David – who had been a man after God’s heart.
Now this…mere carpenter…dared to call The Most High, ‘Father’!
But Jesus wasn’t fazed – neither did he stop there.
He added the word “Your”.
Now, it was strange enough that God was a father – but that He was their Father?
Yet Jesus said it repeatedly. Insistently. Emphasizing it.
Letting them know that the first time was not a slip of tongue – and, yes, God was their father. (Remember, they were not even ‘born again.’)
Also, because he knew some of them would cringe in fear or disgust when they thought of their own earthly fathers, he expatiated further, “Your Heavenly Father.”
Jesus was basically saying, “Take your mind away from the father you know on earth. Let me introduce you afresh to the One in Heaven:
“He is the One who feeds the birds and clothes the flowers.
He is the One who is Perfect – and wants to make you perfect.
He is so kind, He gives rain to the good and bad.
He rewards openly.
He knows what you need before you ask, and
He only gives good things to those who ask Him.
He is Love.
I know you have heard about Him, but let me present Him to you and show you how attractive He really is – so you can have a personal relationship with Him.”
Were the people convinced?
Yes, they were.
It took time – and it took His death – but millions all around the world can now lift up holy hands, turn radiant faces upwards to The One who was once deemed unapproachable…
Are you one of them?