When the big toe met a big God!

 

Rare dinner date with my dad and his mom.

Rare dinner date with my dad and his mom.

Growing up, my dad was a hard nut to crack. Pretty much like a hazel nut—hard on the outside, but soft on the inside if you were able to get through the dense layers. He was tough to talk to, equally tough to get to know and on more than one occasion, downright mean. But I recognize now that his past was difficult and for the most part, sad. That being said, I only have a handful of happy childhood memories of him and one of them was the ‘toe incident’.

Our dinner table only had four chairs, but there were six of us, so my parents had my brother and I (the two youngest) sit on a wooden bench we used at the piano. It was my job to put the heavy bench away. One night my older sister decided she wanted to play the piano while I was trying to accomplish my task of putting the bench back. Impatient with her, I dropped the bench down and it unfortunately, fell on my toe. Needless to say, after all of the years of intentional sisterly torture I endured from her, payback came as I sobbed in pain declaring that she had dropped the bench on my foot. (Hey I was only 7, so it felt right at the time and secretly still does today.) Mom whisked me to the ER where x-rays ensued followed by the application of an unattractive bandage and splint. This left my foot shoeless for the next few weeks and my sister with an unjust scolding; however, I got some quality time with Dad which was rare.

The school carnival was the following day. It went on even though it had rained all day and the ground was wet and soggy. Dad took me to the carnival and carried me everywhere so that my toe wouldn’t get dirty or infected. Being in his arms was full of sweet treats to eat and drink, along with the smell of his Old Spice. He even won a prize for me. I loved that blue vinyl change purse with the Indian face on it. It had lenticular (faux moving) eyes that magically followed you as it turned. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more like a winner than on that night.

One of my favorite pictures of us.

One of my favorite pictures of us.

I’ve heard on multiple occasions that until we understand God’s nature and who He is, we will have the tendency to correlate our relationship with Him in the same way as our earthly father. For example if your father was warm, loving and embracing, you’d see God as warm, loving and embracing. If your father was angry, bitter or even absent or distant, you’d feel as if God were the same. The latter was true for me. Over the years, I’ve struggled to understand my father and our relationship and likewise, struggled to recognize God’s love for me. At one point, I even took offense to friends of mine who called God, “Daddy” because my idea of a dad was so negative. However, I’m an avid student and want my relationship with God to be better than that of my earthly father, so I’m always listening, studying and inquiring on how to accomplish that. Through this journey, God has shown me a different side of my dad I couldn’t see before and opened my heart to feel compassion, love and forgiveness for him. It’s through these new eyes that have allowed me to see my memories of him as a reflection of God himself.

I found Dad's silly side in my teens when he tapped his face. Who does that?

I found Dad’s silly side in my teens when he tapped his face. Who does that?

Just today, I was thinking about the ‘toe incident’ and how Dad carried me in all my pain and discomfort through the fair so that I wouldn’t miss out. Isn’t that just like our great God?! When we are in pain or incapacitated, when we ask, He carries us so that the journey is easier and light. He reminds us that his yoke is always light.

Funny how the memory wheels are turning now. I remember too, there were times when I was in trouble with Mom and I would sit on the front porch and wait for Dad to come home. My plan was to let him know what I did wrong before Mom could over emphasize the truth of my misdeed. Dad would usually give me a good talking to before entering the house where he was ready to defuse Mom’s wrath. (Sadly, I probably confessed to more things than Mom ever had intentions of letting him know about.) God offers us the same love and forgiveness as long as we approach Him with the confession of our wrongs.

That’s what’s so incredible about having a heavenly father who shares His love and helps us to understand our relationships with others. He puts himself into the mix and if we’re in tune His word, we are able to draw closer to Him—something every father longs to enjoy with his child(ren). I don’t know at this point if my dad would like a do-over, but I can say that I wouldn’t. He’s exactly the way God made him and as a result, me too (sometimes just like him). I’ve decided that I want more than a handful of memories of being with my dad, so I’m allowing God to continue to change my heart so that He can change my dad’s and slowly it has. That’s all this little girl wants—to be a Daddy-God girl.

Until next time, stay chic

Vicki

Matthew 11:29 (NIV) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Psalm 103:13 (NIV) As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him

Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV) Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

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