As I rode in the car with one of the men who is spending a year to a year and a half at our long-term rehab community, he spoke of his daughter and how he dreamed of being able to see her again. It had been many years since the two had been together, and it was clear that he thought of nothing more than his daughter.
In the silence that followed our conversation, I thought about his daughter and what she must think. She has heard about her father, but doesn’t see him. Although he thinks about her all the time and loves her deeply, because there is no communication, she lives as if she has no father.
I felt like finding his daughter and telling her about her father, not only about the courageous efforts he is making to get and stay sober, but also about his deep and abiding love for her.
Maybe I will, but in the meantime, I can’t help but think about what the car ride conversation teaches me about my relationship with God. I confess that I often wonder where God is. I don’t hear from him, or see visible proof of his existence, as much as I would like. Sometimes it causes me to question God’s existence. In many ways, I am like the man’s daughter.
What I learned, however, is that her father thinks about her all the time and wants nothing more than to be reunited with her. Maybe that’s the way it is with God, too. Despite the distance I feel, or the lack of direct evidence I see, maybe God in thinking about me a lot and wants to have a personal relationship with me in the same way.
How great would it be if someone came and told me that God loves me . . . that God thinks about me all the time . . . that he longs to be with me?
Wait a minute.
That’s already happened.
I keep forgetting.
(Picture of Ivy Garrigan, her father, and me)