Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Father’s Concern for the Details

Marcia Lee Laycock lives with her husband, two golden retrievers and a six-toed cat, in central Alberta Canada. She was the winner of the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award in 2006 for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her devotionals have been endorsed by Mark Buchanan, Phil Callaway and Janette Oke.

I was browsing in a store the other day, looking for a graduation card for a friend’s daughter. Right beside the grad. cards was a colorful display of father’s day cards and gifts. As I scanned them, my mind took me back to my high school graduation long ago, and the role my dad played in it.

The excitement of the occasion was marred because my mom was in the hospital at the time, suffering from a mild heart attack. With Mom away, everything was up to Dad. He took me shopping for a dress, made reservations at a favourite restaurant for dinner, and made sure we scheduled things right so I could go to the hospital in cap and gown so my mom could see me in the traditional grad. attire.

Dad sat through the long ceremony and took the obligatory pictures to capture the milestone. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my dad made sure everything went as planned. The day was exhausting but good, the approval in my father’s eyes worth all the effort I had put into five years of high school.

My dad, like most fathers, wasn’t always good at arrangements. He usually left those kinds of details up to my mom. He would tag along for the ride, but it was obvious who was really in control. But when the need arose, he came through with flying colours. In fact, I had the suspicion that he was really enjoying himself. I know I was. I loved the attention that had often seemed lacking in the past. My dad was a busy man who didn’t take much notice of what we kids were up to. He ‘brought home the bacon,’ as the saying goes, but often seemed disconnected and detached from what was going on in the family.

Unfortunately, my perception of God was identical to my perception of my dad’s care and concern for us. I thought of God as an aloof entity somewhere “out there.” He’d make sure you were provided for, but it wasn’t wise to bug him with the details. It has taken a long time for me to understand that God is in the details of my life. He’s not only concerned with them, he has designed them just for me. His involvement in my life is up close and personal.

When I realized this was true I began to discover another aspect of God, just as I had with my dad as he arranged the details of my graduation. I discovered God loves being involved in my life, because he loves me.

The good news for us all is that he wants to do the same with each and every one of us. He loves us all as individuals. His care and concern are undying. He’s just waiting for us to turn, look up, and see the approval in his eyes.