Friday, September 28, 2007

He did it for you

I went to bed last night with a heavy heart. A young teen-aged girl from our church called me at about 9.00pm. I could tell she had been crying as she sounded rather nasal. Her story is rather involved but let's just say that she was supposed to have had dinner with her 'absentee' father who had come to town for the stated, express purpose of having dinner with herself and her brother.

She ended up walking out of the restaurant even before dinner was served. As she told me some of the mean and hurtful things her father had said to her, I wept quietly over the phone. What possesses a man to speak such destructive words over his own child? How can a person be so calloused towards his own flesh and blood? Earlier in the week, we had prayed together in anticipation of this meeting. She was apprehensive about it, believing that he only wanted to meet with her to get information about her mother (who has been the most amazing and selfless single parent I have ever had the good fortune to meet). I chided her for being so negative and encouraged her to believe the best. "Afterall," I reminded her, "he is your dad, and somewhere in his absentee-father-heart he has to have a sense of attachment and responsibility toward his 'little' girl." I hate to tell you that she was right and I was wrong, but sadly that is the case.

So I went to bed with a heavy heart. Uncertain how to comfort her in the moment, I encouraged her to remember that she was sorrounded by many others who genuinely loved and cared about her. I know it sounded somewhat hollow in the face of how devasted she must have felt at her father's attitude, but it was heartfelt, and it was all I had to offer along with a promise that we would get together tomorrow. As I have continued to prayerfully prepare for my meeting with her, I am encouraged by something I read this morning, which serves as a reminder that my words to her yesterday were not empty platitudes but a legitimate affirmation from the heart of the One who loves her the deepest. Consider the following words;

Jesus planned His own sacrifice. Jesus intentionally planted the tree from which His cross would be carved. He willingly placed the iron ore in the heart of the earth from which the nails would be cast. He voluntarily placed Judas in the womb of a woman. He didn't have to do it - but He did - (Max Lucado - God Came Near)

What's even more amazing is the fact that all the while He was doing these things, He was thinking about you and me. He was thinking about this precious young lady who's heart feels like it's breaking because of her dads inexplicable and insensitive rejection. It is true that she is sorrounded by people who love her incomparably, and who are cheering her on at every turn. When I meet with her today, I will share these reassuring words with her, reminding her that she is loved with an everlasting love. Her fathers decision to miss out on his daughter's life is his great misfortune and loss. He may have sired her biologically, but I'm glad she has a loving Father to whom she can turn when her world seems to be falling apart right before her eyes. What are you dealing with today that seems overwhelming? I am required to remind you that He made all the above listed choices because of you.