"I am still Father"
There have been a few days throughout these past weeks when the weather has been gorgeous. I was outside (socially distanced, of course!)… I felt the sun’s warmth on my face, a gentle breeze, saw the clear blue sky. But I especially noticed the birds. Soaring, dipping and diving – and singing.
“How can they be so carefree at a time like this? How can nature carry on, with all of this suffering, disturbance, and uncertainty swirling around in the hearts of the whole world?” Those were my thoughts.
I know it sounds foolish to ask these questions. After all, they are simply birds. And they were created to sing! But in this time of trial, affecting the world and turning everything upside down, I almost felt they should be acting a bit more “in tune” with the crisis. This singing felt to me like a contradiction.
And then I heard Him – responding very gently in my heart.
“I am still Father.”
And what kind of Father is He? Good. Understanding. Tender. Ever-present. That is why the sun can still warm our faces, why the trees can begin to blossom, why the birds can sing unashamedly. It’s almost like they “know” this truth. And they are trying to remind us. Is this naïve, wishful, flowery thinking? Pretending that all is ok and ignoring the suffering? No. We acknowledge and look straight at the Cross. But we also remember that the Father has not changed. He has not left us or lost track of us. His love is here – in the midst of our uncertainty. He is holding out His Hand to steady us, if we’ll take it. He is yearning for our trust, if we will give it. He is waiting to be our solid ground, when it feels like the whole world is quaking. He is inviting us, through this trial, to discover more of who He really is.
“I am still Father.”
Sometimes I can let go a little and trust. And other times, I find myself wanting to know the outcome and duration of all this. I can’t see the future.
And I can hear Him replying, “But you can see Me. And I go before you! I light your path one step at a time. I’m standing right before you. There is no need to peer around My shoulder!”
Trust isn’t something I can coldly manufacture, like a product on an assembly line. Yes, it’s an act of my will – choosing to trust. But I think on a deeper level, it’s the response of a heart that knows it is loved.
Trust and surrender are responses to letting the Father love me. The more I open my heart to receive His goodness, His particular and tender love for me, the more I can trust.
Carry me, Father, into this trust that You desire of me. You are still Father. You are my Father.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though
the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in
the heart of the sea;
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
- Psalm 46: 1-2, 7
Sr. Therese Marie, CFR