Love Again


Love Again – dfj 5/11


God uses Mother’s Day cards to remind me ( a dad) how much I’m loved.

Some days life just flows along so smoothly and sweetly, I forget that I’m a human being. The alarm sings to me, but I’ve already been awake for five minutes skillfully planning the conquest of the rest of my day. I’m refreshed and energized and my waffle cooks to a crispy, tasty perfection and my juice is cold and sweet. The car starts on the first click and the radio is just starting to play a wonderful song that I haven’t heard in years. Work is fun and rewarding and each person in the office has another positive piece that they graciously add to an already blossoming day.

And then there are days when I can’t wait to get to my final destination. In this life I’m so broken and inept, everything is a challenge and few things are resolved agreeably. I wake up tired because one of my family members had a rough night (and now I might be coming down with something, too) and I realize that there’s no way I’ll be able to get everything done today that needs to be done. At breakfast, all the fruit has been consumed by the voracious locusts that are my kids and an empty milk carton sits forlornly in the refrigerator, waiting for someone (me) to move it to the trash can. Dry cereal (again). My car starts, but I swear I can hear a bearing screeching somewhere beneath the hood, just lurking there until life gets a little more harried before it fails completely. Do I dare even go in to work?

What am I missing?

Just about everything! Slow down, Dean… be still awhile.

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. What a great time to stop and count God’s blessings. Without a doubt, there were times (that I realize now, though the thought eluded me then) that my Mom was “God with skin on.” Every time she hugged or kissed me or soothed my hurts or gave me a word of encouragement, God was saying “I love you, Dean. No matter what else changes, that never will.” My Mom left to be with the Lord twenty-three years ago and every time that I remember her, it is a gift of love and comfort from my Heavenly Father. His son, Jesus, is a reminder of the promise that I will see her again in eternity… and He does things like that all the time.

How can I wake up in the morning after a rather sleepless night and not be thankful that my wife and children have made it safely through the same night? How can I look at a ransacked cupboard and not be glad that God had filled it in the first place? How can I ignore the fact that I have a reliable (though well broken-in) car to drive and a great job to go to and a wonderful home to return to at the end of the day?

Last week I bought Mother’s Day cards for me and my four kids to give to my wife – one card for each child and one more for me. One of my twin sons, Micah, signed all the cards (except mine). In each card, he wrote a variation of “Love (again), Micah.” At first I thought, “He messed up everybody else’s card,” but then I realized how wrong I was. God sends me little love notes every day and sometimes they’re in other people’s lives (or cards) or they come disguised as problems. But the problems are sometimes there just so I’ll slow down enough to notice the card attached: It says, “Love (again), God.”

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