Tuesday, May 31, 2016

At Daddy's Feet

I knew my daddy loved me, but I didn’t always feel his love. He was an imperfect Daddy as all earthly fathers are. Still, I carry mental snapshots of special times of connection. It occurred to me the other day that two of those memorable moments happened at Daddy’s feet. 

When I was a little girl, Daddy would sit in his easy chair. I would run up to him, all arms and legs, drop to the floor at his feet and hug his legs. Just to be close to him was enough.

Much later, at the end of Daddy’s life, I knelt at his feet again and held his hand as he sat in his easy chair. I verbally thanked him for being the first to tell me about Jesus. In his frailty, he was not able to respond to me, but I believe our souls connected in a way that didn’t require words. Daddy died two days later. How glad I was that I’d knelt at his feet and affirmed his contribution to my life. 

For all the ways Daddy showed me the heavenly Father, I thank him. For all the ways, He stumbled in that attempt, I choose to forgive him . . . even thank him. For his human plunders further forced me into my Abba Father’s arms where true love, security, and significance exist for all time and forever. 

Kneeling at Abba’s feet is my chief joy. Looking up to Him through eyes of faith, I accept His invitation to seek His face, as expressed by David in Psalm 27:8. There’s just something special about looking into the face of the one you love. Locking eyes, sharing a mutual smile. So it is with Abba Father. I envision His comforting hand cupped on my face, and I sense His warm acceptance.  

Author Sandra Wilson reinforced this truth for me lately in her book, Into Abba’s Arms. An adult child of an alcoholic and survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Sandy knows the struggle of pushing through feelings of abandonment, rejection, betrayal, and loneliness to discover and enjoy intimacy with God. Picturing Him as a real Person, which He is, and not merely a belief system, has helped Sandy experience His presence more keenly. Thus, her sense of belonging has also increased. 

One of her favorite scripture passages is Zephaniah 3:17.

The Lord your God is with you,

He is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you;

He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

I, too, love this verse! In the Hebrew, “rejoice over you” carries the idea of God spinning and dancing. Imagine that! God dances and sings with joy over His children. Now that’s a huge, “Wow!”

Years ago, while reading a novel by Robin Jones Gunn, I encountered Zephaniah 3:17 for the first time. I don’t remember the specific story line, but in the Afterword, Robin shared how her grandfather had quoted this verse to her and how God had used the truth of His Word in her life.

I am so thankful for my earthly Daddy, that I got to kneel at his feet, not because he demanded it of me, but because I wanted to. I’m even more thankful for my Abba Father who woos me home to his heart, to kneel at His feet, to share mutual delight day by day.


Eileen Rife, author of 4R Rejuvenation Retreat for Women, speaks to women’s groups, encouraging them to discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His story. www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife,blogspot.com, www.guardyourmarriage.com.

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