There are those nights when you can sit in the dark and the words you pray seem to hit the wall and bounce back at you and you wonder where the Father’s ears are that were supposed to catch the words you sent. That Father you haven’t seen and maybe haven’t heard, but the preachers say He loves you and hears everything and will provide for you. Where is He on that night that you hear the words bounce back to you from the wall,
“Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”
You can feel the beat of the prayer like the ball on the empty wall, but what your heart was looking for was the beat of His heart, a response, a feeling, a sound—something to let you know He hears.
Most of the time I don’t hear anything back. But when you keep throwing the ball, keep saying the prayers, keep believing He hears, keep believing He can catch it…something happens like an earthquake in the middle of the day and in an instant the wall splits and light breaks through and it happens.
His kingdom comes.
It’s a sliver in the day, a crack of light that no one else notices, but your heart felt the earthquake and you know that you just tasted the goodness of a Father. Heaven just came to earth for you. Something happens that is so right, you know the wall of this broken world just split.
That happened for me the day I told my parents I was pregnant with my first child.
My Dad danced.
He was 50 with gray in his beard. I was 21, 3 months married, and in school.
My Dad, now turned Grandpa, picked up a tambourine (seriously) and He danced.
I should have been embarrassed. Who has a 50 year old Dad that grabs a tambourine and dances in the kitchen?
But the wall was breaking and my heart was breaking because I have a Father who danced simply because another life had come into existence.
I know this was heaven breaking through because it’s the story that God wrote in the beginning breaking into my own story. It’s the story that in the beginning there was a God with a Father heart who created a man and a woman just because His heart rejoiced at life coming into existence. It’s the story that there is a God and that He seems a little crazy because He could have chosen to be anything else, but He chose to be a Dad.
My parents always lived that story for me, that story of a God who loves life. I have 6 younger brothers and sisters. I remember every two years my parents called us together for a family meeting to tell us that mom was pregnant. We cheered and smiled and hoped and it never mattered in that moment that my family was too busy, too broke, and too tired to know how another life would fit into our lives. It didn’t matter then and it didn’t matter later because there always was enough. Each of those meetings and cheers turned into a birth and first steps and first words and then into first cars and graduations. Each of those cheers is now a brother, a sister, a friend who holds my heart and my love.
I know that one day my Dad probably won’t be here to hug me anymore or to dance for us when new life breaks through. I have friends who lost their Daddy and friends who never had one to begin with. I have friends who are raising their own children without a Daddy.
But I know this Daddy I have had here loving me for 25 years is only a glimpse of the reality of my real Father who will always hold me. He is a glimpse of the crazy God Father who dances at our existence and who is always with us and for us.
All hell roars on this side of the wall to keep us from seeing that glimpse of God and the good Father that He is. Father on this side of the wall can mean rape, abuse, hatred, apathy, or absence and it’s because Satan doesn’t want you know that God the Father is really a God of love. That’s why I share my Father with you now.
When you came into existence, the Father rejoiced.
Maybe no one was praying or there was no earthquake and you couldn’t see the other side of that wall where He was shaking a tambourine, but He was just the same.
I promise that when all hell roars on this side, it’s different if you know that Father.
You can fight the roar of, “You don’t have enough,” because a Father who loves will always make sure you have enough.
You can fight the roar of, “You’re alone,” because a Father who loves will not leave you when the going gets hard.
You can fight a roar of shame, fear of judgment, and fear of the people and circumstances around you because you have a Father breaking through to be on your side with you.
But it is a fight. You have to fight.
The fight is in your heart and you win when you choose to pray and throw against the wall of sin and doubt that holds back heaven. The fight is in your heart and you win when you side with your Father and rejoice at life—all life—even your own life when it doesn’t feel like there is much good in it to rejoice about.
The fight is in the quiet moments when you choose to believe through the silence and the empty feelings and you lift up your voice and you ask Him to come and break in and shake everything.