Seeing our Lord as ‘Daddy’ and Hero Print
Everyday Faith
Thursday, Aug. 09, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

Everyday Faith column by Julianne Nornberg

"Daddy's home!" my 10-year-old son sang out as he heard the garage door open.

His siblings cheered and danced toward the door as it opened to reveal their very tired, but smiling, daddy after a hard day's work.

"Give him time to rest," I whispered into my son's ear. He nodded but simply could not contain the excitement of sharing with his daddy the events of the day and what he still wanted to do.

Daddy, though, tired as he was, ministered to each child in turn, listening to their exclamations and wonderments of the day.

It only took a few seconds, but in that warm embrace of just a moment or two, Daddy revealed to his children his deep love, despite his earthly tiredness. Why? Because he is their Daddy. He is cherished. He is loved immeasurably. And he is our hero.

Heavenly Father's love

I hope my children can look at their Heavenly Father in the same way one day.

Perhaps it won't happen until they are middle-aged, and it likely won't happen all at once, but my greatest hope for each of them is that one day they have such a relationship with God that they are bursting to tell Him about their joys and sorrows -- not just at night but throughout the day, with little aspirations and prayers that cannot help but erupt from their lips, even if silently.

Approaching God as a child

For how can we begin to pray at all unless we approach God as His little children?

"Remaining little before God," according to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, "is to recognize our nothingness, to expect everything from God as a little child expects everything from its father; it is to be disquieted about nothing."

"To be little is not attributing to oneself the virtues that one practices, believing oneself capable of anything, but to recognize that God places this treasure in the hands of His little child to be used when necessary; but it remains always God's treasure," she said. "Finally, it is not to become discouraged over one's faults, for children fall often, but they are too little to hurt themselves very much."

Unless we strive to foster the comfort and familiarity that comes with the idea of God as our Daddy, our Hero, we cannot truly begin to know the immeasurable love He has for us.

In His message to St. Faustina Kowalska, Jesus said, "Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy."

Of course, there are times of the "just judge" in our household, as discipline is necessary in every family, just as God teaches each of us big and small lessons throughout our lives.

But first God is merciful. First, God is our Daddy. First, God is our Hero.

And for each of us to grasp this, and then share it with our children, is the first step indeed to growing closer to Our Heavenly Father, our Daddy who loves us -- invisibly and through the Church and through others -- with big strong arms, with a kind smile, with unending patience.

God is love.

In the light of these warm summer evenings, as cares of the school year still seem far off, I cherish these small times of joy between Daddy and our children. In these small moments, the emphasis is not on pain or sadness or worry, but only on pure love between souls.

I imagine Heaven must be like that, a mutual sharing of love between souls, not just for mere moments, but for eternity.

What joy it must be to experience Our Father's embrace then, at our homecoming! Hopefully we will be able to say then, similar to what my children say now, "Daddy, we're home!"

And what a glorious reunion it will be.

Julianne Nornberg, mother of four young children, is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee.