It’s a quiet morning here.
And by quiet, I mean my heart is quietly waking, coffee in hand, cardigan on, and blankets piled over my feet. All while some sort of loud celebratory music plays outside my window. Outside, it’s Busy. Inside, it’s Advent.
So I break up my normal routine & grab my computer to listen to this week’s Advent sermon: Everlasting Father.
The music quieted as the late-morning-start to this South Asian day finally began, and the sermon continued as my red ink scratched across the page with notes on His love; His Everlasting, Fatherly love is still such a mystery to me, still such an idea that I don’t know how to accept or allow myself, my heart, to feel day in and day out. I look at Him, expecting the reactions of others—silence, disregard, a look of muted disapproval, words to wound me, not to heal me.
And yet, that’s just not who He is. He always speaks, always looks at me, always affirms me even on my worst days. He always quiets me by His love, sings over me songs of healing and freedom and mercy. Every morning, He does this. Every morning, He meets me.
The last few months I was at home, my dad made our coffee every morning. My slight coffee snobbery has rubbed off on him, so I’d often wake up to the sound of the grinder, grinding a fresh batch. And within the next hour, as I got up and sauntered across a small patch of carpet to my desk to begin my time in the Word, my dad would bring me a fresh, steaming cup. Some mornings, he’d even come refill it for me. It became so natural, so routine, some of my favorite new memories with my dad, as his callused hand would carry in one of my favorite mugs to my room, after a quick couple of raps at the door, usually to a fun tune, or really quick tap-tap-tap-tap-tap knuckle-dance to annoy me (this usually coincided with mornings I had stayed up too late watching episodes of Fringe and I was sleeping in later than a 24-year-old should sleep).
Sometimes, he’d lean against the door frame and tell me some scriptures I should read that he had read earlier that morning. Other times, we’d only share a smile, a silent nod. If I ever caught him by the coffee pot, we’d hug, the two of us the early risers in the family. We’d meet like this, every morning, with a word or a smile that simply said, I love you, even if we didn’t say a word.
This weekend I told the story that Jesus told about the Father to some of the ladies I’m discipling. In it, Jesus says, If you who are good know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask for it?
Jesus doesn’t come to reveal the Father’s heart and character as one who merely gives good gifts to us. Jesus reveals Him as Immanuel, the God who comes to give us Himself: God the Father as God with us. And not just for a season, to lavish love and then leave, to develop a routine that cannot last forever, but to become our Everlasting Father because of the gift of grace through faith.
Almost every morning for 6 months, I cradled my coffee mug and smiled at my dad. But then I moved away, to the other side of the world, and I lost that routine. But I still cradle that same coffee mug, though I made the coffee myself, and I still meet my Father every day. In pages with freedom and abundance, promises and dates, hopes and dreams written in the margins. Nothing can separate me from His love. Nothing can stop His love. It is everlasting and it is compassionate, like a father brewing coffee for his daughter, like a Father we can never run too far from. He’ll still come running for us. And He always will.
My Father came running
at the sound of my cry
in the dead of night
When I’m running away,
He’s still running for me
the love that won’t let me go
the Father who calls me home
My Father sent His Son in my place
He died for what I could never face
When I struggle to believe in Him,
He’s still believing in me
this love that just won’t let me go
the Father who made a way home
the Father who made our way home
Oh, my Father, forgiving one
Forgive this heart of stone
Wrestling with faith again
I’m still just trying to make it home
On my own
I’m still so far off,
the prodigal son
just to be a slave
not Your own
But You’re running—oh, You’re running
with arms of grace
Open to me
this love that just won’t let me go
this love that has brought me home
this Father who is my home.
(PS: Miss you and love you, daddy!)