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Pick Me Up, Daddy!

As often as possible, my husband and I try to squeeze in  some porch time just before sunset.  We’ve never lived anywhere with a good sized front porch before, and so we are all about observing the very Mayberry tradition of porch sitting whenever we can now that we have one.  The trouble is, we are one of the only houses on our street that has a big front porch, making it difficult to mix and mingle Andy Taylor style with the neighbors.  Maybe if Todd broke out the guitar and I made lemonade…

Anyway, last night, Todd and I heard happy squealing coming from the new house at the opposite end of our street.  A woman had just brought her two small children out to the driveway to welcome Daddy home from work, one a babe in arms, the other a dark-haired little Princess about two and a half years old.   Overcome with anticipation, the two year old clapped, hopped, hugged herself, and squealed repeatedly as Daddy’s car pulled around the corner and eased into the driveway.  As soon as the sedan came to a complete stop, the little girl ran to Daddy, arms open wide. 

Todd and I smiled at one another, remembering what it was like when Hope was that small, and I got a little emotional anticipating the embrace between father and daughter that would surely come.

Daddy got out of the car and collected his things.

Princess jumped and stretched and cried, “Daddy, Daddy! Pick me up, Daddy!” 

Daddy didn’t respond, but exchanged a lackluster greeting with his wife and turned toward the house.

Again, “Pick me up, Daddy!”

Todd said it first, willing the man to hear him, though he barely spoke the words.  “Pick her up.” 

Daddy made his way toward the front door, and Princess began to lose her confidence. “Daddy. Daddy?” A whimper.

Still no response.  

“Pick her up!” I breathed.

A pang went through my heart as I watched Princess give up.  Quiet and dejected, she followed her parents inside, her soft little arms limp at her sides, her tiny head hung low.

“She isn’t going to want to be picked up for much longer,” Todd said, shaking his head. “He is really missing out.”  I agreed, and we sat in silence for just a few moments more before going inside.  

All evening long, I had trouble shaking the scene from my mind.  The whole thing made me so sad. It should not have gone that way, even if Daddy was tired, even if Princess had been a real pill that day. A father’s love is supposed to be unconditional.  Our Heavenly Father’s is.  That I know for sure, both from personal experience and from Scripture, but did you know that His affection is unconditional as well?  

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

It’s as simple as that.  God loves you and is just as eager to spend time with you as you are to spend time with Him.  Even though He is busy holding the universe in balance, even when you have been a real pill, you can approach Him with confidence, knowing that He will always pick you up when you run to him with your heart open wide.  

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