Father’s Day

The phone trilled in my ear as I waited.

It might be too early.

But a second later, I heard a hearty click and my father’s baritone flowed through the receiver.

 “Hey, sweetie!”

I’ve been 27 for 4 weeks now, legally grown for 9 years, but I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be his ‘sweetie’, ‘baby’, or ‘hon’.

My conversations with my father are always exceptional. It’s either me poking his brain on men, him reiterating wisdom about life choices, us discussing current events, in our family and in the world or a one on one chat about nothing at all.

This morning’s chitchat was no different. My dad told me of his plans to snip off the locks that he’s been growing for the past 15 years.

“Yeah, baby.” He sighed and I pictured him running his palm through his thick ropes. “I’m getting too old for this.”

 “Well…,” I thought. Charlie Wilson still has his cornrows.”

 “Charlie Wilson needs to give it up too. He’s an old goat!”

We laughed and the fullness of the words made me feel like I was glowing.

It was the best part of my Monday.

He was more than 200 miles away from me, but my father knew just what to say to sew a silver lining in my day.

So does my Heavenly Father.

Grateful for both my Dads.

Tomorrow is Sunday

Without a single glance upward, I know that the sky is blue.

Without looking in a mirror, I know that I have two eyes, one nose and a set of braces-straight teeth.

Without taking a look at my birth certificate, I know where and when I was born.

Without a calendar, I know tomorrow is Sunday.

I know it because it’s true.

There can be no dispute about it.

I have absolute confidence that it is… what it is.

And what it will be…it will be.

I want faith like that.

Faith in all things, not some things.

Trust for all seasons, not some seasons.

 Security in every area, not just some areas.

I want and pray for faith like that.

Where I believe God the way I believe tomorrow is Sunday.

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 O my people, trust in Him at all times.

-Psalm 62:8

Explosions

It’s funny how God will expound on something you believed was only a passing thought.

I fell asleep thinking about love last night.

This morning, I read a passage that made me contemplate it even more:

“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else.

‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise.

It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run;

being in love was the explosion that started it.”

-CS Lewis

Explosions are great. Like fireworks, they sparkle. They provide excitement, entertainment, and thrill.

But they are only seconds long.

Soon the flames die down.

The smoke evaporates.

The glitter and glow of colored light melts into the night sky.

And it’s done.

It’s the sound barrier shattering eros love that should continue and transform into still smooth agape love.

Unconditional love.

No limit love.

Real.  Love.

A friend of mine told me that she loves her husband more now than she did the day they married. I see what she means.

Praying that whenever I explode, it smolders into something that can make an engine run.

Simple Power

There were no red flags about Amanda that morning.

She walked into Rebecca’s office with her clothes crisp, her smile bright, and her head high.

But when the door clicked shut, the crumble began.

She leaned against the corner of the wall as sobs poured out of her.

The dam was broken and her sorrow was spilling out.

Rebecca and I were paralyzed for a second, completely blindsided by the display.

But then natural instinct took over.

I wrapped my arms around Amanda, leaned my head against hers, and held her. Each cry made her shiver and I felt my arms tremble along with her body.

I don’t know how long we stayed there in that position. But it was long enough to make her crying die down.

The following day, Amanda admitted,

“That was the first time somebody’s hugged me in a long time.”

Growing up, I had no need to worry about where my next hug was coming from. My parents gave hugs to my sister and I daily. Every time a relative would come by, it was a given that they would bring a good squeeze with them. My baby cousins always showed their love by trying to wrap their chubby arms around my legs.

 But now as a single adult who lives alone, I definitely see how rare they are.

 Maybe it’s due to vulnerability.

As we get older, we develop some cynicism.

Everyone isn’t to be trusted.

Personal space is craved and expected.

Lines are drawn.

Inner circles bubble up.

Brick by brick, walls are constructed to keep out undesirables.

But when something or someone destroys those barriers, leaving us exposed and open, that’s when we find ourselves wanting, having, and needing hugs the most.

The number of hugs I got at 7 is definitely higher than the number I get at 27.

But that doesn’t mean I need them any less.

A hug is such a easy but potent way to show love and ease pain.

It’s simple power that everyone has.

I’m going to use mine more often.