My dad died when I was not much older than she is now. I think of it in moments like this when he puts his arms around her shoulders and squeezes her to his side.
I think of it when he calls her Fluffer-Puff and asks her about her day, or when she’s tucked into her bed with a book and he sits down by her feet and talks to her in his unhurried way. He is never as hurried as I am.
I think of it when he builds the Swing of Awesome because he knows she’ll love it. It’s constructed out of a curvy old bike handle and a length of chain strung way up high in a sprawling tree. He pushes her out over the field where the bank slides away and her giggles fly away into the sky.
I can’t watch.
I think of my dad when her dad buys her bread sticks because she likes them, or when he let her have chickens even though he did not want chickens. But she did.
I think of it when he asks me how he can pray for her better, and I am reminded of how my own father prayed for me. It is not even a memory. It is part of my making.
And it minsters to me so deeply, the fatherhood of my husband toward our children. I see in him the love my own father had for me, and I am grateful. I see in him the love the heavenly Father has for me, and I am amazed.
I watch them together and I am thankful that she has him. I am thankful that her father’s love will lead her to understand the love of the Father. I know my husband is securing her affections toward the things that are good and holy, pure and righteous, beautiful and lovely. My daddy did the same thing for me, and if the story repeats itself as I think it will, she will not be able, after, to choose anything less.
So on this beautiful day of motherhood, I am thankful for the ministry of fatherhood. I am thankful that God has given us a picture of Himself that I can’t see in my mirror. I am thankful that I can see it in him.