God is telling a story. He is telling the one True Myth, the one true Fairy Tale, the one true Epic Poem. We are his characters.
Life full of scenes. Millions of scenes. Your scenes. My scenes.
Most are incredibly boring—brushing teeth, buying groceries, changing diapers. Some are incredibly moving—old married couple holding hands, military dad surprising his family returning from the frontline, mom comforting teenage daughter after her first breakup. Some scenes are passionate—making love, protesting injustice, crisis prayer. Some are horrific—car accidents, abortion, war. Some are heroic—lifeguard pulling kid out of the pool in time, firemen running into the World Trade Center, your kid standing up to the class bully.
But most of life’s scenes are of an everyday-normal quality, which sadly makes them ripe to be scenes of shame.
Scene: Fussy. Scene: Complaining. Scene: Angry.
Yesterday morning my 18-month old daughter came up to me in the kitchen while I was trying to finish washing breakfast dishes and make coffee. Her outstretched arms told me she wanted to be picked up. The day before I had read these words from Joe Rigney:
“My one-year old walks up to me wth arms outstretched. I can see it in his eyes. He is searching for something: approval, affirmation, acceptance. The kind that only a father can give. He is hungry for a father’s love, for the Father’s love.
Either the laughter in my eyes, the smile on my face, and the strength and tenderness of my arms will tell the truth about God, or their absence will blaspheme the Father of lights.
My son is reaching for me, and looking for God.
My son, the theologian.”
I am guilty. I have blasphemed the Father of lights almost everyday this past week. Right after breakfast. “Just a minute, sweetheart.” “I can’t pick you up right now.” “Can’t you see I’m doing the dishes and I need both hands.” “Why can’t you just go play?!” “Stop screaming!”
I thought about the above passage from Rigney’s The Things of Earth. I thought about an N.D. Wilson talk I listened to a month ago, the one about life being full of scenes. I decided to make this one count.
If the heavenly host were going to tune in to this part of the story, if they were looking in at my scene at 8:30 a.m., in my kitchen, on a random Thursday in January, then they were going to see a father pick up his daughter, hold her close, and dance.
In that moment we were a King and a Princess dancing at a royal ball. We were practicing the night before prom. We were at her wedding reception. She was a Great Lady and I her long-adored aging father. I sang the music and led the dance. We twirled. She giggled. I teared up. We both rejoiced. I dipped her at the end and gave her the biggest kiss of the day.
And….cut. The moment lasted just a minute. She then went to play with her brother. I finished the dishes. But it was just about the best 60 seconds of my week.
On to my next scene. And yours.