I attended a good friend’s father’s funeral recently, and while listening to my friend give the eulogy, I was struck by my own internal thought “I don’t remember very much about my own father in 22 years, he hasn’t seen me graduate, get a job and get married, I don’t think my father really knows me and the person I’ve become. My father hardly knows me.
But, he does.
It pains me when all I can describe to my niece about her grandfather is that he liked the colour purple, showed his love by fetching my sisters and I to NTU over 10 years, and that he was a pilot. I wish I could recount his character, his personal experiences, his growth.. but I am at a loss, especially when it feels like I can’t capture the full essence of who he is.
It’s hard to actually recognize and trust that my dad actually knows me, the angst of “you don’t understand” was a common thought when I was in teenage rebellion mode.
As I get a taste of parenthood while hanging out with my niece and nephew, I actually see just how much of a parent (especially in terms of effort and belief system) goes into raising a child, their hearts are truly poured out for the child. What a vocation! Parents are where we get all the quirks from – good and bad.
Only on hindsight do I see that this relationship is not just about proving myself to him, but about his fathering me too. He knows my values, my character and the person I chose and would choose to be. He knows that because he raised me, taught me and loved me. He knows who I am as a person, as his child.
To be honest, sometimes I don’t really think God knows me all that well either. He is basically all my dad is to me, isn’t ‘physically’ around and even more ‘abstract’! It would be too easy to say “you don’t understand!” to God because he wouldn’t react to my door slamming or my whiny cries for attention. Yet, He is my Father for all eternity!?
Only in recognizing him as my creator, my teacher and the lover of my soul can I really proclaim that “yes, my father who art in heaven, in a very real way, knows me through and through”. And with that, it’s a lot easier to trust that He has a plan that would trump mine in a heartbeat.
Memories fade, moments may be forgotten, and I don’t think I know very much about God, I would spend my life listening to him and only understand a tiny fraction of who he is. But I can’t deny that he has shown me a path that is so specifically catered for the person I am. God knows the fire in my heart, the man that supports me and the experiences that shape me. He definitely knows me.
He know me a lot more than I know myself.