I was sitting in the drive-through getting dinner last night (I know, I know! But it’s been a busy week of organizing and cleaning) thinking about my Dad. That dear 84-year-old patriarch. He really is a wonderful man who loves his family with his whole self. He still loves me, protects me, prays for me (there’s nothing like hearing my dad pray!), and dreams big dreams for me. From my Dad I understand how fiercely God loves me.
My brother is pretty much cool too. It’s not every girl who gets to have a fellow Ph.D. in rhetoric in her family to hash out Cicero, Locke, Burke, and the Apostle Paul over the mashed potatoes. He and I were just talking about Matthew 18, and how God’s message is, “Hey, don’t mess with My kids!” But Steve is more than a theologian and an intellect and more than an argumentative sparring partner. He really embodies that coming-along-side one-anothering, that fraternal partnership, that gentle correcting that Christ had in mind within the body of Christ. From my brother, I understand how we’re all supposed to get along in the Church.
And then these two “gentleboys” in my life. It was in those early weeks of holding Isaac — at first through the tubes and wires in the NICU and then finally swaddled at home — that I understood how much God loves me. Our nursing relationship got off to such a rocky start. And I had to nurse him. I just had to. After having my body prepare to nurture our Elise and not having any Elise to nurture, I knew that nursing would be a crucial milestone in the healing process. But it was going so badly. On the floor of our bathroom, I wept for God’s help in those first days. And when God answered and we were on our way (me glued to my couch with Boppy pillow and a big stack of books), I read every passage in the Bible on nursing. And I understood on a tangibly human level just how much God loves me.
With Gavin, it’s been different. A lesson in bold confidence. As Steve says, “it seems like you feel okay. Everything’s gonna be alright.” Gavin’s our little white hawk who is unperturbed, Spirit firm. With Gavin, I’ve learned what a unfettered joy it is to live life in God’s grace, to march up to God’s throne, bubbling over with “Abba, Father.”
And Grant. My soul mate, my BFF, my knight. I’ve always cherished his chivalry. One of the first things that warmed my heart toward Grant was that he, like my Dad, knew which side of the sidewalk he should stand in order to protect his lady from the carriages riding by. He’s still protecting me. Even while he boldly nails his own 95 Theses to the cyber chapel door, the good ol’ Protestant that he is. From Grant I understand how selflessly and lavishly and assertively Christ loves His bride.
I am so blessed that right here among the men in my life I get to see God better.