My last post featured a picture of me holding my nine-year-old son, Judson, when he was one. I’m not sure if it was the sweetness of my son’s face, the post itself, or the combination of the two, but there were more responses to that post than any others I have posted. I guess the idea of being held by the One who wants to hold us most appeals to more than just me. So here’s “Hold Tight” Part 2.
Once I posted that picture of Judson and me, it reminded me of a picture I have with my dad. It is nowhere near as “professional” as the one of my son and me. In fact, it was taken with a 110 camera. I’m dating myself. But I love the image all the same. (see featured pic above)
Much like the other image, it captures a dad and his son with their guards down, their worries aside, and nothing else mattering but each other. My dad has a lot of qualities that I wish I had more of; qualities that I think are very consistent with the character of God.
- My dad is an amazing listener. You know when you talk to my dad, he is listening. God, the One who knows all, mostly lets us do the talking. I find it odd, but I find it true of my dad as well, and somehow it makes relational sense.
- My dad is gentle. Don’t get me wrong, my dad is a man’s man. He is a 6th generation cotton farmer. The man can work! But, and it’s hard to describe, especially with my kids, he just moves slower, kinder, with more intention. He is so present.
- My dad delights in the people he loves. For instance, when he is watching my kids play sports he lights up like a Christmas tree. He sees with a lens that appears to render him delusional. Every play they play, he comments on their perfect abilities and attitudes. I love it.
- My dad loves his family because they are his family. My dad truly needs no other reason to love them than the fact that they are his.
- My dad is strong and always the same.
My wife calls my dad sweet Larry. We named our first son Larry Chapman. (That’s how much I love my dad, to name my son Larry—I mean, come on!) My wife and I both decided if any man deserves a namesake, it’s my dad. So many people struggle with God being a Father because of their negative image of their own father. I struggle with a lot. I have had more tragedy in my life than I care to mention, but associating God with my dad has always been a good thing. My dad is my solid. My God is my solid.
Ah, once again, the image of letting go and just lying on my way-bigger-than-me heavenly Father, letting Him hold me, is so appealing to me in my way-too-crazy-paced life. Does this make sense?