I know I've told you that before, but I love saying it because I love/d him.
All that changed when I was 7 or 8 and my parents divorced. Dad moved to Michigan and I moved to Colorado. From that point on our relationship was sporadic and required actual work to maintain. I was only able to see my dad twice a year-the rest of the time we communicated via letters or his phone calls.
Those phone calls...they were intensely bittersweet and always left me feeling lonely, hungry for more of him. On the other hand, I always felt treasured and missed; I knew he was lonely and hungry for more of me too.
The worst part of each phone call was saying goodbye. At first, when I'd hear his voice on the other end of the line, I was thrilled. My daddy had called me! He'd ask me about school, my friends, what I was doing for fun, and then he'd tell me about his life and what he was up to. After a bit we'd come to the end of the conversation and dad would say, "Well sweetheart, I love you. I miss you. I'll call again soon, but for now let's hang up."
"OK daddy. I love you too. Bye..."
Silence. Neither one of us hanging up.
"Judy, are you still there?"
"Sweetheart, we need to hang up now, so hang up the phone."
"OK daddy. I love you..."
Silence. Neither one of us wanting to end the delicate connection we had.
"Judy, why don't you hang up?"
"Because I miss you daddy...."
"OK sweetie. Let's hang up together. I'll count. 1, 2, 3..."
and then I'd hang up. I wouldn't leave the phone for a long time though. I'd sit there, staring at it, waiting, wondering if he had actually hung up. Was he still there, on the other end of the line, hoping to hear my voice telling him I love him? Telling him more than I already had? Was he longing for those tiny phone wires to keep me there, in the room with him, as close as we could be under the circumstances? Sometimes I'd doubt his love, and would wonder, did his heart hurt like mine did, or was he off and running, on to the next thing?
I'd sit there, staring at the phone, aching to hear his deep, comforting voice cradling me, making me feel loved and safe....so thankful he'd called, relieved to know he still loved me, regardless of our circumstances.
There are so many spiritual parallels here...so many. A Father's love, a deep connection, sin severing that, work that brings it back, work that maintains it, doubt, time spent together that heals it....
I think, if this were my last blog post...if I never put my fingers on a keyboard again, my last words to you would be Romans 8: 38-39. Unlike my dad's availability, God is always, always, always available. We can talk to Him and pour out our hearts to Him incessantly. (I think He'd actually enjoy that.) His love is constant and there's no reason to ever doubt it.
I used those 2 verses yesterday when I wrote, but they are perfect for today as well and I pray you would get it. I pray I would get it...
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(not even severed phone lines...)