Mid June belongs to my daddy. He gets a double whammy of celebrating because His birthday is June 14th which lands close to fathers day. With 4 kids and 14 grandkids, he is a big deal in our family. I’ve written about him before, but at 91 years young he has earned the press.
I called him before church this morning to wish him a happy birthday, and amazingly he answered. Hours later, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. Speaking to daddy during these strange covid times is hit or miss and mostly miss. It requires calling a landline and catching him during his short window of time when he is in his wheel chair awake and able to reach the phone. Think ONE in a million!
He Loves Me
Our conversation was brief, but I hung up knowing I was loved and realized that my Daddy instilled that… because he was loved. What security it gives a kid to have a loving earthly father. Even though I don’t take it for granted, I appreciate that for many, that wasn’t the case. Still, my daddy’s love wasn’t perfect. No daddy’s is. Except for One.
And that One, to pull it off sufficiently, sacrificed His only son to die for me. My Heavenly Fathers love is perfect, agape love. He chooses to love me in spite of me, no strings attached.
Love is powerful
Love is powerful. The truth is… love is a difficult thing to kill. I’d suggest it’s the only thing in our cosmos we can’t kill. We might question it, scream at it, bury it, try to silence it, and pretend to ignore it. We may even rally our dark thoughts attempting to drowned love’s impact because our shame tells us we don’t deserve it. But ultimately we’ll fail. Love gives birth to love. Love never fails.
Our country feels dark. Hate, anger and divineness is daily fare. It’s enough to cause us to question everything. Where is the love? If it’s out there, it appears to be failing. That is the question I’ve been wrestling with this week. Where is the love?
What the world needs
I can’t get the tune out of my head. Wouldn’t you agree that this 1965 song is just as relevant today?
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.“
For me, when I do muster the courage to poke my head out from under the pillow, the enemy wields his weapon of doubt. Just look, he shouts, scary stuff is happening. You have nothing to offer. The task is overwhelming. With my attention diverted, doubt levels its final blow when it causes me to question God Himself. Lord, with all that is happening, are You indeed good? If so, do You care? Doubt makes God seem small and irrelevant. And just like that, I have given the darkness a foothold in my own heart. The way I see it, faith can coexist with some honest doubt but it can’t survive when we become too certain of the wrong things.
But wait, there’s more
My article was close to going to print when my daughter returned home from a peaceful protest over a famous New Mexican conquistador statue. Becca was visibly upset, angry and distraught over more division, senseless hate and in the end, danger. This morning I learn that the protest didn’t end well with one person in critical condition after being shot. yuck. Just yuck. In my own backyard.
This dangerous cultural war feels as if its picking up steam. I repeat… where is the love?
I’m certain, the unleashed darkness grieves our Heavenly Father. But sadly, it doesn’t surprise Him. He knows that what happens on the outside is a reflection of what is on the inside.
I’m not naive. But this is a war for our allegiance. This isn’t about republican vs. democrat or liberal vs. conservative. It’s not about BLM vs. the police. It’s not about Trump vs. Biden. I believe it’s about light vs. dark, God vs. self. Ironically, it has always been a war for our allegiance. The difference is that it’s now being played out in full living color. I’ve read the last page of the book and spoiler alert…God wins.
I have felt paralyzed as I watch the nightly news that highlights a world I no longer recognize. If I’m honest, the last thing that I’m compelled to focus on is love. But… really… love is all I’ve got.
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Shine the light
I think about my daddy. If my world is dark… his world is darker. He’s ravaged with Parkinsons, confined to a small room, unable to be with his wife of 60+ years and dependent on help for virtually everything. In a way, all he has left to offer is God’s love. (Except for maybe some stale Utz pretzels that he has stashed in his drawer). Because of the years He has spent with the Lord, without effort God’s love seems to eek out of his pores.
My daddy knows that in the darkness, even a little light will shine.
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In honor of my Daddy, come out from the shadows. Love never fails. The reason love can’t fail is because it can’t happen apart from its source. God is love. Even so, you can’t impart what you don’t possess.
That is the crazy miracle that is love. The more you pour out… the more you have to pour. I don’t understand it. I just know it’s true.
I will end with another catchy tune…
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…”
For His Glory, Debbie Hucke