I would like to think that my kids like being my kids. I want to believe that they brag about me, tell stories about me, and make all of their friends jealous to have me as a dad. Whether this fantasy is true or not, I’m trying to father that way.
A few years ago, when my son got his first detention, he approached me, white as a ghost. With trembling hands, he staggered to tell me the horrific news that would surely lead to his execution. The truth was, I had already heard, and I had been contemplating for hours how to respond. I knew he was sorry, and I wanted to use the moment to model how God deals His justice.
As the mumbled news fell from his lips, my response was all shock and awe. “Get your shoes on, we’re going to get some ice cream and those batting gloves you need.” He froze in confusion. “Dad, I said I got a DETENTION.” With a smirk this time, I repeated it a bit slower, “Go. Get. Your. Shoes. On…”
I want to Dad like God Dads. Today’s readings reveal that no matter how far we have run or how many times we have turned away (as Israel had done), He will never abandon us, never forget about us, and loves to wow us with His abundance. All we are asked to do is turn, receive, trust, follow, and repeat. Turn towards Him, receive His love, trust that He’s God, and follow where He leads. Simple, but not easy.
The truth is, there is a lot of crazy going on in our lives and in our world right now. But today’s readings remind me that everyone and everything is going to be okay. Whether we recognize it or not, there is a beautiful swirling drama being played out on the stage of our vast universe. The main subject, a Creator who is jealous for His adopted children, who stops at nothing to help them recognize who He is and how He loves. Our Abba is Creator, and He sent His only Son into the world to reveal His unconditional, indiscriminate love. He never tires of forgiving us. And He will come back.
God is way bigger than what’s bugging you today and what’s ailing our world. He’s got this! He is still in charge and He is the “One to come.”
Ennie Hickman is the President of Adore Ministries, a community of Catholic lay missionaries, called by Baptism to mission. They seek to love and walk with their neighbors, sharing the Gospel joyfully, living their faith, and growing in loving relationship with God and each other.