the love of my Father

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening at the beach. I sat at a picnic table journaling. I walked in the sand up and down the shore. I stood staring into the horizon. I sat on a bench reading. I laid in the grass. I went to my favorite ocean-side coffee shop. I took pictures of the sunset over the pacific.

Being near the ocean delights my soul. When the salt air hits my nostrils and curls up my hair, it also wraps me up in the love and closeness of  Jesus. {Cheesy sounding, maybe. But so very true.}

At one point in the day, I watched (in a non-creepy fashion) a man and his two daughters playing in the grass under the palm trees. The girls were probably 2 and 4 years old. He would chase them and they would act as though they didn’t want to be caught, but they did. He’d pretend it was hard to catch them, but it wasn’t. Then he would scoop them up in his arms and spin them around. They would giggle with delight and then he’d put them down and it would be their turn to chase him. After a minute or two he’d pretend to be tired and fall to the ground, giving them the chance to catch him. Then he would say, “Ohhh… here comes a hugging monster… here comes ANOTHER hugging monster!” And the girls would wrap their little arms around him and, again, he’d pick them up and spin them around. They clearly loved their father and delighted in his love for them.

I LOVE seeing people LOVE, especially fathers and daughters (and sons too). It’s such a special thing. As I sat there, I remembered my own father’s love for me…

I’m very ticklish. When I was a little girl, my Dad would attack me with tickles and I’d giggle until I could barely breathe while protesting, “top it Daddy, top it!” (top it = stop it) He would stop and I’d catch my breath and then say, “Do it again! Do it again!” I don’t think it was that I LOVED being tickled so much as it was that I loved having his attention. I loved making him laugh and smile. As I got older, I was so impressed by his random knowledge about the world that I wanted to impress him with my own so I read and I learned and I would say, “Hey Daddy, Did you know _____________?” and when he didn’t know, I felt like I’d achieved something amazing. [So, yes… My nerdiness is all a result of a desire to impress my father.] The funny thing though is that I didn’t have to TRY to impress him. I could have been the biggest idiot in the world and known nothing about anything and he would have thought I was just amazing – because I was his daughter, the little girl with curly red hair that he had always dreamed of.

So as I sat in the grass by the beach watching this father love his daughters and thanking Jesus for the love my father had for me… He reminded me…

This is how I love you. This is how the Father loves you. You don’t have to impress us. You don’t have to work to achieve Our love. We made you. We delight in you. We love your attention and you always have Ours.

Today is my Daddy’s 55th birthday. He’s not on earth to celebrate it, but I will… because I’m thankful for the ways he taught me about love and helped me to understand the love of my Father.


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