Sunday, November 9, 2014

John's Prayer and Father Love

Our sweetheart John has said a few most memorable prayers.    Not long ago he prayed at dinner time "God, thank you that we got to eat breakfast this morning.  And we got to eat lunch this afternoon.  And dinner now.  Amen."

Last time we were in the states, when he was 3.5 years old, we had stayed in about twenty different homes for a few months.  We tried to pray blessing and thankfulness for each home we were in.  And John remembered that when he prayed on Christmas Eve (I think it was?)....  it was a sweet and really long prayer (especially for this boy who does brief prayers well) and he closed with "Thank you that Grandma and Grandpa let us stay with them in their home."  I can still remember Grandma giggling over it...."as if we'd leave you all out in the snow."

Sometimes the obvious things seem too little to mention.  But I'm so glad he remembers to name these blessings and to give them as gifts, to return them with thanks to the Lord.   

Tonight he prayed another one that, if it had come on any other day, might not have choked me up so much.  But it did today.  He prayed:

"God, thank you that I was born.  
And that Daddy was born.  
And mommy was born.  
And Isaiah was born.  
And Marian and Vivi were born.  

We were listening to a sermon on Biblical manhood this morning, on teaching our boys the creation-old wisdom and beauty and goodness and rightness of living with such honor as to lay down their lives for women, for their women... and I wept straight through it.  

I wouldn't have thought there was very much "father-wound" in me....  I know the Lord shielded my heart with outrageous grace all through my childhood and youth.  But I grew up with a single mother and a father who knew well of my existence and never cared to say hello, to check how we were, to protect, to provide... even a scrap, a crumb, for my mom or me.  This sermon pulled back the grace-cover from that wound to have me relive a little of my still-there tenderness, neediness for healing in my heart.... and where does a father abandoning his child, throwing her mother away like trash, not hurt their heart?

I remember some of the first words I heard from my father's lips the day that I met him, the day after I turned 22.  "I want you to know I bear no responsibility, no financial obligation towards you because I told your mother:  have an abortion."

But tonight I get to celebrate an eternally, exquisitely precious boy who is thankful he was born.  And thankful I was born.  He and his siblings.  And His daddy.  And these beautiful treasure kids of mine (!) are growing up loved... loved well by a Daddy who is living the Gospel before them.  Sacrificially loving them, loving me, loving and leading us all to our God.

In that sermon, Chandler reminds us of the admirable beauty of a three young men in Aurora, CO throwing themselves over their girlfriends when a gunmen entered their theater.  Each of those guys was killed while their bodies shielded those three young ladies and gave them life.  I had a father who left me before all the bullets of life and this world ...  but I have a Savior who took the weight of not just the junk of this world, but my very own, I-am-guilty,  soul-trash, to give me life by shedding His own blood for me.

And I am the most brokenly, soul-raw and Thankful any woman, any mother could be.  Stunned by the grace of healing (what's begun and still coming), faithful promises, a beautiful design, divine self-sacrifice, and Sovereign Love.   And that I, that we, belong to such a God as this?  

... stunning, outrageous grace.      

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