Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anyone Who Has Seen Me Has Seen the Father

When my married friends announce their first baby, there's one thing--other than congratulations--I usually share with them. And it usually makes the expectant mother cry.

When I graduated from college, I received as a gift a memory book Mom put together full of my birth announcement, hair from my first haircut, and photos that spanned my life so far. But Dad's contribution to the album has become my most prized possession.

Tucked into one of the plastic photo sleeves was a six-page, handwritten letter on yellow legal paper. Dad had scrawled it out late the night following Father's Day, 1981, nearly two weeks before my birth. I never knew it existed until I received the memory book.

It's a pretty simple letter. In it Dad introduces himself and Mom (and admits doing so is a little corny), and tells a bit about where they are living and working, about Grandma and Grandpa Naser, and even lists the names they were considering for me.

The thing that struck me the most--the thing that made me cry when I first read it--was that even before he felt me kick inside Mom, before he'd seen me or even knew whether I was a boy or girl, he loved me.

It's doubtful he intended it, but Dad's letter showed me a glimpse of what fathers are meant to be: reflections of God the Father. The Father pours Himself out completely in love, holding nothing back, and that Love is fruitful, life-giving and unconditional. That's the calling of earthly fathers--admittedly a lofty one--but it can only be achieved by grace poured out by the Father Who loves infinitely and wishes to share His loving Fatherhood.

So pray for that grace, fathers, that you may be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Love ya, Dad.