Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Father's Love

All change, even good change, requires adjustment. Thirty one days of being away from home and it's taking us some time to settle back in. It's not just the things that have been left undone, or even the amount of stuff that comes home that we have to unpack (we're still working on those), or the fatigue level of everyone because none of us sleep as well apart and not at home as we all do when we are together and under our own roof (the fatigue is slowly going away). One of the hardest parts of this adjustment to watch, and I'm sure one of the hardest to go through, is also one of the steepest prices to pay for the separation that occurs when John needs to be in Omaha for health reasons and Mark needs to be here to take care of these people whom God has called him to serve.

The first night home in the middle of the night during John's normal waking up and needing to be changed and stuff came the screaming and the crying and the pleading for mommy. Mommy was exhausted and daddy was trying to let me rest while taking care of his little boy. Rejection hurts no matter how old one gets, and when I came around the corner to find out what in the world was going on there was a little boy just beside himself, tears running everywhere, signing mommy as loudly as he could with one hand, smacking Mark away with the other hand and screaming and crying at the top of his lungs as if he was in pain and scared all at the same time. I held his hand and caressed his head as daddy kept taking care of him, it only lasted maybe 10 minutes and John was back to sleep. It took much longer for his parents to fall back asleep. When morning came John was ready to get in the bath and play with dad, Mark spent a good part of yesterday finding opportunities for them to play and have fun together, and this morning in the dark when John awoke and Mark went in to check on him (I had taken the earlier time) I lay there and listened and there was no screaming, no real crying, and only a bit of fussing, no more than the normal level of fussing that a little boy does when his bleary eyed parents aren't reading his signs as fast and correctly as he desires. This morning when I rounded the corner to help John up (which is goofy because at night he can sit up and escape his bed, but in the morning needs help) he was holding tight to his little plastic basketball and signing daddy really big to make sure that I saw it. Now there are giggles and smiles and all seems better.

I am thankful for this man who is my husband and John's daddy, who even when he hurts because his little boy is not used to him being there every night persists, with gentleness and with love, in caring for his son and bringing him back around to that relationship that they had before the separation happened. Watching this unfold the past couple days has reminded me of the relationship that I have with my heavenly Father, who when I was rejecting Him, turning away, screaming that I wanted nothing to do with His kind of love and care persisted in offering those gifts, persisted in extending that love and care through every set of hands available until I too was brought around to see that this love is what is needed. It reminds me too that in my daily life I reject and complain and whine and yet my heavenly Father is faithfully there offering me His gifts, from air to breath, food to eat and people to love me which even the unbelievers get to the very body and blood from His Son that I might eat and live. I am thankful that He has persisted in loving me, a poor sinful woman, and will be happy to stand at the altar this Sunday and receive the gifts of life and salvation from my heavenly Father, through the hands of my little boys father. It is good to be home with my husband and pastor who teaches me God's Word of love and forgiveness not only through his sermons and direct teaching, but in the very way that he lives out life with our little boy and with me, even when it is he who is asking for that forgiveness it is I who learn more about love each day.


Laura said...

That's a beautiful post, Gina. Thank you so much for the reminder of God's love to all of us. It has been a blessing to hear your story and the love you have for your son.

Melissa Sutton said...

I loved this post. I was wondering how the adjustment was going for all of you. Your family is indeed blessed!