It’s a Thursday morning and I’m getting the boys ready for a trip to our city’s waterfront. My 4 year old wants to look at the boats, play on the playground, take a ride on the ferry. It’s June and sunny, but the air is cool. I zip zippers, snap buttons, velcro shoes. Toss the raisins and cheese and water bottles into the diaper bag. I walk from room to room, turning off lights, hunting for hats and sunscreen.
The 4 year old is getting impatient. He takes the keys and heads down the front steps while I finish getting his little brother ready. I hear a scream. Followed by another scream. I put the toddler on the floor and rush outside. He’s fallen on the steps, his hands are bleeding and I hope to God nothing is sprained or broken. I carry him inside and grab a warm cloth to hold against the cuts. Tears are still streaming as he sits on my lap, the cloth wrapped around his wrist. I notice his arms and shorts are dotted with blood and I try to wipe them clean without him noticing. Finally the bleeding slows and we wrap bandaid after bandaid around his hands.
Does he still want to go to the harbour? He nods his head yes and so we try again. Hand in hand we walk, one step at a time.
And this is love, isn’t it? The tending to our hurts, the caring for our pain, the nearness when we’re afraid. Even from this far from perfect mother, love finds a way from my heart to his. Love finds a way through this maze of impatience and frustration and selfishness. Love cannot be stopped. And if love can find a way out of this imperfect heart, then it certainly can find it’s way from Heaven. From a perfect Father who does not just know how to show love every now and again, but whose entire essence is Love. In every moment, God is Love. Always.
When my husband gets home from work he picks up our son and they sit on the couch together. He checks out the scrapes and asks him about the accident. Our nurse friend suggests we put him in the bath so the cuts can get cleaned.
I gather toys and hear the two of them in the bathroom. “Don’t! It’s going to hurt!” my son whines – he doesn’t want his Dad pulling his shirt over his bandaids. I can hear my husband trying to calm him down, trying to reassure him. “Don’t worry, I know. Don’t worry, I know.”
We are just imperfect mothers and fathers, imperfect sons and daughters, imperfect friends and husbands and wives, just trying our best to love one another in our imperfect ways.
But the Father’s deep and perfect love is echoing against the walls – can you hear it? It’s here among us, living in us, working through us. We only see it in part, through the cracks of our broken hearts and broken lives and broken spirits. But true Love is resounding, from the red sunset skies, around our conversations, and over us as we lay in bed at night. It’s a song from our Maker, a song of desire and delight for His children. And He won’t stop playing this song – His love is always calling us, always naming us, always strong and ready to hold us up. This love song is unlike any other. It alone has the power to shape us, to recreate us, to give us a purpose and a hope.
It’s our Father’s love song, written for you, and written for me.
Will we believe it?
“But ask the animals what God does. They will teach you. Or ask the birds of the air. They will tell you. Or speak to the earth. It will teach you. Or let the fish of the ocean educate you. Are there any of those creatures that don’t know what the powerful hand of the Lord has done? He holds the life of every creature in his hand.” (Job 12:7-10)