It was a blessing in disguise, however, because we were concerned how he would be able to recover from brain surgery with a toddler in the house who was accustomed to roughhousing with her daddy.
As the days passed and my husband started healing, our daughter continued clinging to me while watching him over my shoulder.
He would try to entice her into his presence by holding out her favorite toys or watching one of her favorite shows on his laptop.
It never worked.
She would hear his voice in the next room, and run toward the sound with her steps nimble and her face overjoyed, but as soon as she would see him—the shorn head and incisions—she would turn and run as if her beloved daddy had turned into a monster.
It was absolutely heartbreaking, and though we made light of it, I started worrying that the two of them would never have the kind of unique, storybook relationship they’d had before the surgery—the kind of relationship I admired with my heart full to brimming.
But on that fourth day, I brought our toddler downstairs and she looked around for her daddy, who was recovering in the guest bed so he could sleep without the nocturnal interruptions of our four-month-old daughter.
Our toddler spotted him on the couch, and her eyes lit up with recognition.
Then she remembered. She stuck her hand in her mouth and burrowed her face in my neck, acting shy around the one person who conjured forth all the magic in her world.
The morning passed. We ate oatmeal and drank coffee. I did dishes, and then sat down to nurse our four-month-old.
My husband was typing on his laptop on the couch when our toddler grabbed her blankie, darted across the hardwood floor, and said, “Hold you?”
He scooped her up and held her close. I bowed my head over our infant, trying not to cry so our toddler wouldn’t be startled by my emotion and bolt.
It was one of the most ordinary and most exquisite moments of my life. And, just this week, almost three months since my husband’s surgery, I started viewing my toddler’s relationship with her daddy as a picture of my relationship with God.
Whenever I go through a difficult season, like a scared child eager for a reassuring embrace, I want to run to Him.
But then I halt in my tracks, heart pounding, and shy away, wondering if I ever knew God’s heart if He would allow us—and so many others—to go through such pain.
Then, slowly, He entices me back into His presence.
He paints the firmament in the morning and pins stars to the sky at night.
He lets me see His face in the union of an elderly couple as her husband holds open the library door and she slides beneath his arm.
He lets me hear His voice in a lyrical passage from Job, or in the “Jesus, make daddy all better” faith-filled prayer of my child.
So now, whenever I’m overcome by life’s uncertainties, instead of running in the opposite direction, I remember this beckoning—this wooing of my heart—and I run as fast as I can to my Savior’s feet and say, “Hold me.”
And, like a good father, He always does.
Have you ever compared your earthly father/daughter or father/son relationship with your heavenly one?