I was interrupted from my thoughts by the ring of my cellphone.
“Hey, Grant!” I cheerily answered my husband’s call. The time alone driving in the car had been good for my soul. He was watching all three kids for the evening.
“Hey” was all he said back to me but it was enough to hear the tension in his voice and know something was not right.
“What’s wrong? What happened?”
“First let me just tell you that everyone is okay.”
This of course is never a great way to begin a conversation but it is also a necessary and comforting way for any mother who has temporarily stepped out of the house.
“GRANT WHAT HAPPENED?”
“Well, Charles crawled into the bathroom and his big (yet still little) sister thought it would be fun to play hide and seek. She closed and locked the door before I could get him so that I could ‘go find him.’ GraceAnna, I got so panicked, imagining him getting in to the toilet head first that I couldn’t figure out how that little key works to the door. I just could not get it to turn and unlock. I just didn’t know what to do and with each moment I grew more afraid.”
“Grant! What did you do?!”
“I just, well, I just punched through the door.”
“Yea, I just did the only thing I knew to do in the moment. I was just so worried he was drowning. So I just punched through it and unlocked the door and opened it.”
“You ‘just’ punched through it? Oh Grant, was Charles crying? Was he hurt?”
“No, he was just sitting there in the dark, staring at me. He wasn’t hurt and the toilet lid was closed. But the door, well, I’m sorry. It’s just a mess.”
“Of course I don’t care about the door (well not much). I’m just so glad he’s okay and you’re okay and everyone is okay!”
At this point, I was both relieved and astounded, and just grateful to the Lord for His protection. I imagined the hole right above the door knob, the size of Grant’s fist.
When I arrived home later that evening, the first thing I did was investigate the door.
I could not believe. my. eyes. The door did not have a round hole as I had pictured, the entire top half of the door was shredded. Jagged pieces of wood and particle board were everywhere.
It literally looked like Jaws had made a visit to our bathroom.
I wasn’t angry. My heart flooded with compassion for him.
All I could think of was the desperation he must have felt in that moment. His trapped son on the other side of this door. Imagining the worst.
He would do whatever it took.
Over the past couple of weeks I have had a lot of time to replay the door incident. Turns out it takes quite a while for a new door to ship to our hardware store.
I have been constantly greeted by our destroyed door and have had to explain to every visitor to our home that no, my husband does not have a violent anger problem.
I really am telling the truth!
Of course, I have been reflecting much on the Father’s love for us – stopping at nothing to save His helpless children. If an earthly father can love his son like that, how much more our Heavenly Father?!
But every time I look at those jagged pieces of wood, I am also somewhat taken aback by the violence of it.
And I think, this is how we can often be tempted to see God isn’t it?
All jagged. All wrath. Powerful and disappointed in us.
Have you read the God of the Old Testament? they say.
He’s all violence and judgment.
All jagged. No love.
They see the laws. Unclean. Unclean. Unclean.
But then they miss Jesus there, with the sick people crowding all around him.
I miss Jesus there.
Not retreating from the smells and presence of sickness and death.
The perfectly clean One who doesn’t separate himself from us. He came to us. His hands touching ours, making us new.
And when we embrace the fullness of who He is, not molding him into our own characterization or rejecting Him all together, we see Him.
We are unexplicably touched by Him.
We come to a deeper understanding that He takes on the wrath we deserve because of His love.
So much wrath and so. much. love.
If we do not encounter the harshness of it all we miss the wonder of it all.
The nails. The cross. The thorns.
The love. The forgiveness. The glory.
It humbles us. It astounds us. It drives us to our knees.
We once were lost but now we are found.
Because He loves us.
Oh how He loves us.
And that is something we cannot always so easily explain but we just know it. He’s knocked the door down, and we see that He loves us. Because that’s what good fathers do.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8
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