Dateline: Michindoh – Week 2, Day 4.
It’s a typical Day 4 at Wyldlife camp. Except that it’s also Sunday, June 16th.
On this Father’s Day the Work Crew and Summer Staff, who have left their fathers behind for a month, are enthusiastically celebrating the holiday by . . . doing what they do every other day – rising early to start a day of work that will not end until sometime after 11:00 tonight. Were I to list all the details and responsibilities of their individual jobs, you would want to curl up in a ball under your bed covers and take a very long nap – a luxury they do not have.
The work staff welcomes with expectant joy the long days of work, as well as the cramped sleeping quarters, the close communal living, the absence of technology, the lack of significant alone time, the separation from friends and family, and so many other things that would be viewed with disdain in the normal hustle and bustle of daily life back home.
They welcome, and on occasion patiently weather, these things so that a thousand middle-schoolers and a hundred teen moms will be introduced to the Abba Father who knit them together in their mothers’ wombs, whose loving thoughts towards them are too numerous and too profound to comprehend, and who waits patiently yet longingly for the chance to embrace them, put a ring on their finger, new sandals on their feet, and a brilliantly clean robe on their shoulders in preparation for a celebration feast to end all feasts.
They welcome, and on occasion grow weary of, these things so that a thousand middle-schoolers and a hundred teen moms will know beyond doubt that Abba Father, who created all that exists and whose majestic power extends farther than the east is from the west, waits longingly for the moment He can call each and every one of them Daughter or Son.
They welcome, and on occasion have time to glory in, these things because they have a heavenly Father whose love and grace extends to (and infinitely beyond) the thousand middle-schoolers and hundred teen moms they will selflessly (even when battling self-importance) and tirelessly (even when exhausted beyond measure) serve this month.
Depending on one’s earthly biological circumstances, Father’s Day might be a time to mourn or a time to celebrate, a time of painful memories or a time of contentment.
Beyond our immediate biological circumstances, there are no such widely divergent oppositions.
There is just God. Father. Abba. Into the hearts of His children, He sends the Spirit of his Son, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
We are no longer a slave to the world’s lies or our insecure fears or our own messy pride.
Rather we are God’s own children. His Daughters and Sons. His very own.
What a glorious thing to celebrate today and every other day.