How Many Father’s Do YOU Have?
“Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.” Matt 6:9 ESV
On a recent flight my wife sat next to eleven year old Kelly who was travelling alone. After discovering my wife was a fifth grade teacher, Kelly became a chatterbox. She had just finished fifth grade. They talked literature and math, art and relationships, hot lunch and locker mirrors. During one lull in the conversation, Kelly blurted "How many Father’s do YOU have?" Jeni leaned in and said "One, but he is in heaven now." (A door was opened for later). Kelly proudly shared that she had two fathers. In fact, she was flying home after visiting her biological father’s family and going home to be with her dad that raised her. I sat listening and felt sad for Kelly.
Near the end of the flight, Kelly followed up on my wife’s heaven comment by asking my wife, "Do you go to church?" This turned the conversation to Jesus, faith, salvation, trust, and many other topics for which Kelly shared a common faith with my wife. Kelly’s frame of reference for an earthly family was different from ours, yet she had the same understanding of her need for the love of her Heavenly Father. A father’s love so unconditional that He would send His only Son to pay for the sin we daily chase. Kelly knew that! Humbled at my previous judgment, I sat listening and felt happy for Kelly.
No doubt children and families today bring complexities and challenges. Maybe this is true in your family as well. At times it can be overwhelming and disheartening. Yet, God calls us daily to be renewed in our Baptismal grace. Strengthened by The Holy Spirit we look for opportunities where we can share the Father’s love with everyone we meet, no matter their circumstances. May God give you eyes to see, ears to listen, words to encourage and a heart to share the healing balm of Jesus Christ with all whom you meet.
This is my last devotion for this newsletter. I have been Called to teach theology full time at Martin Luther High School in the Milwaukee area. About half of the student body is from a Lutheran school background. The others do not have the same Biblical foundation. In fact, over 60 of my new students are from China with little or no faith background. As I say goodbye to my NID friends, I ask for your prayers that God give me the eyes, ears and words to share Christ’s healing balm. And my prayer for you is that you carry on in the Lord’s mission to reach all nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- What challenges have arisen in “family systems” over the past twenty years?
- How can we see these as opportunities to share God’s love?
- To whom is God calling you to listen, love and share God’s hope?