A Father’s Look

This morning Nate said to me, “I think when we get our girls I’m just going to spend a lot of time staring at them …” Now, being one who has a chronic staring problem, I know he’s not referring to the can’t-quite-figure-out-who-those-people-are-so-look-at-them-until-you-learn-more stare. It’s the daddy gaze he’s talking about.

You know it. It’s the look that when you catch someone else doing it you quickly glance away feeling like you’ve entered into some sort of private moment. For those of you moms and dads out there, you know the tug in your heart towards this little thing who somehow came from you and from whom, when you’re not pulling your hair out because they drive you crazy, you can’t quite take your eyes.

Nate said this not too long after I came in from my Saturday morning run. His comment came as if he’d been hanging out in my head for the last 40 minutes.

My Saturday morning runs are holy to me. Most other days, by the time my feet hit the pavement, lights are on in the surrounding houses in our neighborhood, people are walking out to get the paper with their morning coffee in hand and cars are speeding off to work. I’ve got to turn my ipod up pretty loud for me to drown out the life around me and get in my zone. Saturday mornings are different. There’s an extra drive in me to lace up my shoes before the morning is broken. It’s a lot easier to have the space to talk and listen to God when all the extra chaos of the day is quiet.

This morning’s ruminations were a carry over from what I’ve been a little bit lost in this week. There’s a truth that’s been searing my heart. See, it’s been 15 years now that I’ve been actively pursuing a relationship with God. Countless hours spent reading scripture,books, commentaries, praying, listening to sermons, going to conferences, spending time with people who do and don’t know God talking about Him … yet this thought dropped into my brain just a few days ago and I can’t get it to go away. Because it’s true. I barely know Him.

The answer for me isn’t to do more, learn more, study more, listen to others talk about Him more. For me, for right now it’s … receive. Lately its been easier for me to skip over the portions of the bible that talk about the personality of God — the emotions of God — the heart of God and move quickly to the hand of God, the power of God, the move of God.

And this week He’s saying I want you to know my love for you. Listen. Wait. Open your eyes. Look. Watch. Expect. . . and receive.

So I come in from my run feeling like all I want to do is just sit, absorb and ask Him to take a heart that can so easily do…prove…justify… seek to validate… and turn it into one that can receive.

Then Nate said the words that I actually think are God’s words for me this morning. The growing heart we have for our girls came, first, from our Maker. The mom you catch at the playground who’s stopped to rest her head in her hand and look at her daughter with eyes full of joy and love didn’t manufacture that. She got it from Him … ’cause this is what He does with us.

He looks at us. He gazes upon His creation. Scripture actually says He is ravished with us.

Oh, I barely know this God.