Sitting on the edge of her bed perfectly positioned in the light that was streaming in from the hallway through her cracked door, she could hear daddy talking and laughing with her brother across the hall. She knew it deep in her soul that tonight would be the night. Tonight he would come across the hall and tuck her into bed too. He would give her hugs and kisses and wish her sweet dreams. With her heart beating violently inside her chest she sat up a little straighter when she heard him saying his last “good nights.” Anticipation overtook her when she heard the flick of her brothers light, and the closing of his door. Daddy’s shadow cast across the floor, when his big frame entered her door jam a smile light up her tiny face. He then reached his arm in, grabbed a hold of the door handle, and without a word swung the door shut. Hearing the latches finality when it clicked into place caused her smile to dissipate. Sobs began to take over her little body as she sat on the edge of her bed and listened to daddy walking down the hall away from her. When she heard his feet descending the stairs she felt as if she had been punched because all the air left her lungs and she struggled to breath. She heard a gentle whisper…
“I watch over the fatherless”
It calmed her, and brought a peace that was unexplainable. With that peace upon her she lay down on her bed and drifted off to sleep.
Her head hurt from all the studying, she felt as though she would never be ready for the test tomorrow. Her brother sat across the table from her working on his own homework. They had been joking with each other all evening as mom prepared dinner. She loved spending time with her family like this; it made her feel special and loved.
Hearing the front door open she smiled, dad was home. He came around the corner into the kitchen and headed straight for mom.
“Hello my bride, how was your day?” He said as he leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek. They shared simple banter and then he came over to the table.
“Hey Son, how was school? Do anything fun?” He asked looking right past her at her brother. Knowing it would be her turn next she began compiling a list of things she wanted to share from her day. After her brother had bragged about his grade in science class, dad rounded the table corner and tousled his hair telling him how proud he was.
She then watched as Dad turned away from her and walked out of the room with out a single word uttered in her direction. Hurt consumed her. Every feeling of love and specialness fled from her body. She tried to finish her studying, but was unable to concentrate.
Five minutes later mom instructed them to go wash up for dinner. Entering the hall, dad bumped into her, “Oh, I forgot to say hi to you…” he said, pulling her into an impersonal embrace. As she walked away from him, the pain worsened.
“How could he forget to say hi to me, I was right there?” Were the words she spoke under her breath. A new wave of pain overcame her. She no longer felt special at all, instead emptiness filled her.
“I sustain the fatherless”
Just as it always had, that gentle voice filled her with the peace she needed so badly.
Waiting at the table of her favorite restaurant she kept telling herself he would show up this time. He promised. She had called and made the reservation for two. A night with just her and her father, she couldn’t wait. It had been a while since she had gotten to spend time alone with him. All week she had been anticipating their time together.
Feeling the sudden vibration of her phone, she removed it from her pocket. Noticing a text message from her father, she said a simple prayer before reading it. “God, please say he is still coming.” Another piece of her heart felt chipped away as she read what he had to say. He was caught up at work and would have to reschedule, he would call her tomorrow. “Yeah, that’ll happen”
She stood up, feeling badly for wasting space on a Friday night. Placing a ten dollar bill on the empty table she walked out of the building. The rain pouring down outside matched the mood in her heart and helped hide the tears that were now streaming down her face. She climbed into her car and let the emotions unleash.
“God, I don’t understand. Why did I think it would be different this time? I have fooled myself for so long. How could I expect him to love me? I am nothing but a burden to him, an obligation. I hate how he makes me feel. I don’t feel loved, I don’t feel protected… I need a daddy!”
“I am a father to the fatherless.”
Once again the peace she had come to rely upon consumed her. God was speaking to her, just like he always had. He was asking her to surrender, to allow him to be her daddy. Fear filled her. What would it be like to have God as her daddy, would he hurt her the way her earthly father had?
“Be strong and courageous my daughter, I will never leave you nor will I forsake you.”
She sat in her car, embraced by the peace of God.
“I love you… daddy!” Saying the words she began to sob more passionately. She felt free, loved and cherished like she never had. It felt so right, it felt as though she had known it her whole life; God was her daddy. God would watch over her; he would sustain her; he would never leave her or forsake her. He would be her daddy.