A fistful of trousers yanks in my grandson’s little hand.
“Dadda,” he urges.
His little face is upturned. Longing and hope fix his expression.
My grandson expects response. After all, this is his personal father, the one that belongs only to him, apart from all the other fathers in the room.
My son looks down at the interruption of his conversation and pauses to smile. I see the softness in his eyes before he swings his three-year-old into his arms. A sweet blonde head settles against my son’s chest, a trusty thumb finds its place and contentment reigns.
The love of a child for his father touches a place tender in my soul. My grandson’s upturned glow of trust shines clear. His expectation centers on his place of belonging near my son’s heart, and there he rests.
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are,” 1 John 3:1; NASB.
The Apostle John, wrote the fourth gospel with tender expression, calling himself the disciple “whom Jesus loved.” An older man at the writing of 1John, he was experienced in faith and life. He wrote the epistles with the memory of one who had leaned against the chest of Jesus at the table of their last supper together.
John seemed to have a special grasp of the love of Jesus and it overflowed into his writings.
“For God so loved the world,” Jn. 3:16; NASB).
“We love, because He first loved us,” 1 Jn. 4:19 (NASB).
“God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God,” 1 Jn. 4:16; (NASB).
The expression of the love of a father for his child fills me with longing. I find myself at times taking the love of Jesus, fundamental to my faith, for granted. I forget its prominence, and I don’t feel its permanence. Without the love of Jesus, faith crumbles.
“…how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God…”
Christ’s love gives impetus to share the gospel. I must remind myself of its richness daily for without His love filling my heart, faith grows brittle and lacks grace.
“See,” John began. “Behold,” some translations read. It’s like an outburst, an amazing declaration, like a child whose face shines with the love of a Father’s eyes.
To be so confident of a father’s love is a wonderful thing. When John called himself the disciple whom Jesus loved, he showed an astounding security in Jesus’ love.
I look over at my grandson again in my son’s arms.
Am I not also the disciple whom Jesus loved?
The Father who draws me into His loving embrace is no less certain for me than for John.
“Dadda,” my grandson wiggles. He puts little hands on both my son’s cheeks. Forehead to forehead, eyes locked with eyes, in miniature-man voice he declares, “put me down.”
And, my son leans over gently and lets him run from his embrace.
I smile because it is a reminder of another sort.
My grandson runs between the legs of crowd. He laughs with delight, then looks back to make sure a parental eye is still watching.
“and such we are.”