"If you were standing before God, could you describe your relationship with Him by saying, 'I love You with all my heart, and all my soul and all my mind and all my strength'?
Yes? or No?
How I wanted to check 'Yes!' But I could not. 'What has happened to me?' I wondered. I began to realize that the Thief has robbed me of trust in God's goodness, fueling the fire of doubt. The circumstances of Daddy's death provided the fodder and the spark...the testing of my faith and radical obedience required these past few years only fanned the flames.
'How can I love Someone I do not fully trust?' I wondered.
"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."
"Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh," said Susan. "I thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver..."Who said anything about safe? Course He isn't safe. BUT HE'S GOOD. HE'S THE KING, I TELL YOU."
"Course He isn't safe, but He's GOOD..."
As I prayed, a torrent of memories washed over me! Momentary flashes of my father's wild and lavish expressions of love. My first Christmas brought a puppy, Inky, a black ball of fluff who would become my closest companion and confidant. Many pre-school days were spent standing on the seat of the 'call truck,' wedged behind Dad's shoulder. We bounced through the countryside, from farm to farm, tending to all manner of livestock. Those days were not complete without a stop for 'penny candy' at Mr. Kuper's store.
Several years later I would arrive home from school one afternoon to find a baby elephant standing in our front yard! Dad was a man of delightful surprises! Then there was the day he decided to buy a herd of ponies...twenty-four, to be exact, along with two 'pony rings' he would take to local carnivals.
He taught me to work. My career began at the age of twelve, cleaning kennels and mopping floors fouled by sick dogs. I watched my father practice veterinary medicine without partiality, loving and serving those shunned by others, often refusing to charge those who could not afford his services. He was NOT a perfect man...many a naughty word escaped his lips when he was frustrated or angry, but I NEVER detected a hint of pride. His was a humble, servant's heart.
After my disastrous and painful divorce he was often both "Papa" and very much a second father to my children. He loved his grandchildren in the same outlandish way he loved his children, with a balance of love, discipline and an unmatched sense of adventure.
"It was You all along!" I cried. "It was You blessing me through my father, revealing Your generous, knowing, loving heart through him! And You love me still..."