. In the book, he talks about his faith.
He talks about one of the first times that he said the Apostles Prayer in
community. The first two words struck me. Jesus said that when we pray we
should start with two very profound words. “Our Father…”
What images come to mind for you? What strikes you about that reality? Jesus is
calling God your father. Now, I’m going to be fairly transparent here. My own
relationship with my father is a work in progress. In fact, when I read “The
Return of The Prodigal Son” by Nouwen I marked the first two sections up immensely.
I marked the parts about both sons up with great abandon. I marked two places
in the section on being a father.
How about you? How do you relate to God? Do you view Him as
a loving father? Do you have problems seeing Him as the Father that wants you
to return? Can you see Him coming to the road everyday and straining to see if
you are coming from a long way off? It goes against the grain of everything I
was taught as a Child about God. Those type of characteristics were “womanly”
and kind of shunned by “real men.”
God as punisher, gotcha!
God as judge, gotcha!
God as destroyer, gotcha!
God as Grand record Keeper, gotcha!
God as strict, gotcha!
God as well, somebody who redeemed me but doesn’t really
want to have that kind of relationship with me, gotcha!
God as someone who anxiously waits for me to live in right
relationship with Him? Well, that is just too far outside my scope of
understanding. Even as I type this I can imagine people getting ready to throw
up a few verses about the wrath of God. Hold onto those for a moment and just
stop and think about God as Father. Think about your relationship with Him,
where is it? What’s good about it? What needs improved about it? Think about all the claims God makes to being
If your relationship with your father wasn’t all that good,
it may not be all that comforting but I want to ask you to imagine something
for a moment. What if God wanted to be all the things that your earthly father
lacked? How would that change how you interacted with Him? What if God really
was the Dad that was there with a hug for you when things were just falling
What if God loved you no matter what? How would that change
how you lived? How would that change how you risked? How would that change how
you loved other people?
Go and read the story in Luke 15. Over the next few days and weeks I intend to
explore this more.
For now, May you live in the reality that God is THE Father
to you. May you know His love in a very real and intimate way. May you be
blessed in the knowledge that even when you find yourself in a Far Country He
loves you. May the next time you pray start with “Daddy…”