This morning I read a beautiful blog post about buying Father’s Day Cards called Fathers Are Not Idiots.
When Leah and I used to attend Oncology Day Beds in Bristol Children’s Hospital, we were normally in a single room, as Leah’s immunity was so low.
However, one day, I happened to glance in one of the three bedded rooms and what I saw there just melted my heart.
I saw a pale child, with chemotherapy hair loss, sound asleep on top of his bed. Also asleep on top of the bed, was the child’s daddy, with his large frame curled protectively around his little son.
I quietly called one of the nurses over and the two of us just stood there, drinking in this picture of parental tenderness and nurturing. I felt like I was standing on holy ground.
How I wished that I could photograph the scene, but this family were outpatients and I didn’t know them, so there would be no way to obtain their consent.
I had so many emotions in my heart as I stood there gazing at this sleeping daddy protecting his sick little boy. I wondered did that daddy ever have the urge to scoop up his beautiful little boy in his arms and run away, far away, from all the needles and the poison (chemotherapy) that promised to make his child better?
As parents, our desire to protect our children from harm is so strong, but as adults we understand that sometimes the cure hurts and that they may even feel worse before they feel better. We hope and pray that it will be a cure and that they will feel better, because for some children, like Leah, the cure kills.
Nevertheless, I thought it was so beautiful that here in this busy Oncology Outpatients Department, this Daddy did the one thing that he could do for his child; provide comfort by getting on the bed beside him and enveloping him in his arms as he slept.
Sadly, not everybody has such a positive experience of their earthly father.
We live in a broken world.
However, the Bible describes God as our Heavenly Father. The most famous prayer in the Bible begins with the words “Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name” Matthew 6:9 or, as I learned growing up “Ár nAthair atá ar neamh, go naofar d’ainm,”
This weekend Father’s Day is celebrated, but for those of us who don’t have an earthly father to celebrate, we have a loving Heavenly Father. One of the most beautiful descriptions of His love for us is in Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)
“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”