The other night I had a dream. I walked by Chloe's room and from the other side of her closed door I heard a conversation she was having with Cole. "So the long and short of it is, there is no Daddy. Despite there being some evidence of his existence - even though some of that evidence is pretty compelling - you have to understand that Daddy really doesn't exist."
I was confused by what I was hearing, so I knocked on the door. "Kids? What's going on in there? Open the door. It's Daddy."
"Do you hear that?" Cole exclaimed. "It's Daddy! He does exist!"
"No he doesn't," my daughter said. "Remember, there's no such thing as Daddy."
I knocked louder. "Kids, there is such a thing as Daddy. I'm right here. I've always been here. Open the door and let me in!"
"Ignore him. It's not really Daddy. It's a cosmic fluke that's mimicking a Daddy-like experience."
"No!" Cole cried, "I think it's really him!"
"Cole, there's no such thing as Daddy! Look, I can see that you have some inner need for connectedness and belonging. So here's what you can do: turn to the characters of Sesame Street for wisdom and guidance. From them you can learn manners, morals and basic hygiene. But you're going to have to let go of this ridiculous belief that there's some sort of Daddy out there who loves you and wants to take care of you."
"Well if you're sure, Chloe. I guess there really must not be a Daddy, after all."
Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? For my children to deny the existence of their own father, regardless of all the evidence to the contrary? It really is laughable, isn't it?
But people do that very same thing each and every day. Regardless of all the evidence to the contrary, some people steadfastly deny the existence of God. They turn from him, they ignore him, they seal him off - just as if there was a door separating them from him.
What does God do? He stands on the other side of that door and calls out to them. He knocks in order to get their attention. He does everything short of breaking the door down because in the end, it's their decision to open that door and let him in (Revelation 3:20).
Unfortunately, far too many people are so busy denying his existence they can't allow for the possibility that he does, in fact exist. He does, in fact love us. He does, in fact want to have a relationship with us.
Can you hear him? Can you hear him calling out to you, asking you to open the door of your heart and let him in? Will you pretend not to hear him, or will you respond?
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column runs every other week in Sunday Life.