At Chloe’s day care, they have a large window cut into the wall. Every once in a while, while I’m on lunch, I’ll drop in and look at her through that window. From the hallway, I can see how she’s doing, how she’s interacting with the other kids and whether she’s behaving.
But the thing I have to be careful of is having Chloe see me. If she does, she’ll scream and cry and want me to come get her.
As a father, that response on her part makes me feel special and loved. The problem is, I can’t take off the rest of the day (which I’d end up having to do) just because my little girl wants her daddy.
So to keep her from crying, I can’t let her see me. To keep her from seeing me, I have to stay hidden from her.
So there I am, in the hallway of the day care center, standing back and to the side of the window. I peek around the side of it so I can watch what she’s doing, but I remain ready to jerk my head back out of the way as soon as she starts to look in my direction.
It’s funny, isn’t it? A father who loves his child so much, yet works so hard to remain hidden from her? Sure, there are mitigating circumstances which I’ve already explained, but still. It just doesn’t seem right.
I guess what makes it seem so wrong is that it’s the exact opposite of what our heavenly father does. He doesn’t hide from us. He doesn’t watch over us in such a way that we never notice him or his presence.
On the contrary, God makes his presence known to his children. He wants us to know he is there with us. He wants us to see him.
The problem is, we’re often too busy to notice.
Whenever I look in at Chloe, she’s usually reading a book, playing with a toy or playing with another child in her class. She’s occupied with other things, and doesn’t even think to look toward the window to see if I’m there. If she does, it’s only because she just so happened to turn in that direction. If she sees me, it’s purely accidental.
Would you be satisfied with that? To catch a glimpse of your heavenly father only once in a while, and only by accident? Or would you rather see him wherever you are, wherever you turn, whatever you’re doing?
He’s there, you know. All you have to do is look for him. Just make the conscious effort not to let yourself become too occupied with other things. Look for your heavenly father. He will let you see him. He will let you find him.
And when you do catch a glimpse of him, he’ll do with you what I cannot do with Chloe on those drop-in visits to the day care. He’ll come in, wrap his loving arms around you, and spend some time with you.
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville.