Bending his ear

My daddy is one of my favorite people. I mean, obviously, he is my dad. But even if he weren’t my dad, I would still be friends with him. He is witty with a wry humor. His love of nature and animal factoids are legendary. Few people see the softness of his heart or the depth of his soul. His life has not been easy, but he has chosen to live a servant’s life. First, he served our country in the US Army. Then, he spent nearly 30 years serving Texas as a law enforcement officer. His passions are God, family, and marksmanship. He is a firearms instructor, a hunter, and all around true Texan.

Yeah, I am pretty crazy about him….

All this shooting over the years has taken a toll on his hearing. He is starting to struggle to understand my kids if there is ambient noise also present. It is hard. It is hard on him. It is hard on my kids. It’s hard on their relationship. However, I have noticed the last few times we’ve been around him he has developed a new habit.  When someone speaks to him, he turns his full body toward them. He cups a hand around his ear, and leans in to listen. The first time I noticed it, I admit it made me a bit melancholy–“his age is showing” flashed through my mind. But recently, I saw it with different eyes. I saw it through a psalmist’s eyes.

“I love the Lord because he has heard my appeal for mercy. Because he has turned his ear to me, I will call out to him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1-2

God in all his majesty, sitting on his heavenly throne, reigning over all creation, hears me? Turns his ear to me? Well, that sounds nice…

Is this hard for you to accept? It was for me, too.  See, for a lot of my life, I adored my daddy. But… I didn’t feel seen or heard by my daddy. Y’all, he was in a job that required overtime and weekends, missed birthdays and – always – “on duty” holidays. There were concerts and plays, youth activities, and Girl Scout ceremonies missed. He made as many as he could, but being a trooper is a consuming occupation. My heart knew he loved me. My head knew he had to work. Somewhere, in the soup of my soul, anger spit a little poison. And it spawned a seedling of bitter root. By the time my teenage years came, I was outright furious that I didn’t matter to him.

So many times, we take the issues we have with our human father and pin them on God. I felt utterly unheard by God. He allowed things to happen in my life that were ugly and hard to understand. He left prayers unanswered. He allowed death to haunt my family for years.  So, I assumed God had other things more important than my cry. He loved me. But, didn’t hear me.

Y’all! It. Ain’t. True.

Read it again.

“Because he has turned his ear to me….”

God hears me!

Oh! Happy day! I matter to God. My heart is doing a little dance, and I will call out until my last breath:  “Daddy, please, help Your daughter!”

God hears you, too!

My friend, whatever darkness you are walking through, whatever sorrow has come to your heart, whatever pain is aching in your soul cry out to the One who hears you!

He will turn His face to you. He will place a hand next to His ear. He will bend His ear to hear your cry.

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