Seeing Theo (or, ‘A Father’s Eyes’)
36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
At six he was clearly the youngest of the group, and his delicate frame could easily have passed for a four-year-old. As he dashed past me, chasing the football in front of him, determinedly competing against boys twice his age and size (and as a resident of the orphanage, fighting for his place in more ways than one I suspect), I couldn’t help but see Theo in him, my own precious six-month-old son.
It was an epiphany that stopped me in my tracks: that’s how God sees us.
Becoming a father has illuminated certain scriptures and biblical concepts for me, and this is one of them. My new role as a Dad has stirred in me a new and deeper compassion for children without one. Surely, the very essence of the gospel message is this: that when God the Father sees us, otherwise preoccupied and dashing past Him, He sees His own perfect and beloved son Jesus, who, through a compassion so strong, and grace so audacious, He sent to earth as a living sacrifice to make possible our adoption into His everlasting family.
My 6-year-old friend remains in the orphanage, doggedly waiting for an earthly father to turn to him (Malachi 4:6, Luke 1:17) – a thought that just about breaks my heart (I can barely bring myself to imagine Theo having to fight through his early life without me). But there is hope. I pray that I, together with all the fathers in God’s kingdom, will embrace a compassion so strong, and respond to grace so audacious, that we reflect our heavenly Father’s own heart, and open our eyes to see the orphans among us.
The first of two devotion prepared for Chiang Mai Community Church’s Easter Devotional series 2014, for the theme: Who do you say that I am?