To my embarrassment I wanted to lead the largest church in town, although it never entered my mind to want the largest family in the city. I wanted our church to grow, become popular, have influence, be spoken of and give me some real street cred.
But my little girl came and captured my heart. Her delicate touch was mesmerizing. Her tender whimper when she wanted love, sent us dashing to the crib. The pain that she encountered with her colic, especially during the evening hours, had us rocking her until the sun came up sometimes. Our love was endless, our service was generous, our affection was ever deepening.
The father metaphor, is the strongest guiding one that has shaped the way I have led churches for 27 years. I love being a dad. I love the sense of awe and wonder of that moment that conception is realized. I have loved watching the belly begin to bulge as M radiated with the mystery of motherhood. Her beauty simply grew, as new God-life began to stir in her inner womb - and we celebrated. We hooted and hollered when we felt that life for the first time. Of course I loved speaking to and through the belly button. I was astounded at the authority I had addressing this little person, in the womb, who would soon enter our world and punctuate our lives with love.
M and I never found out the gender of our three children beforehand. There was a clear prophetic moment with each of the births, when gender and destiny met in divine harmony. God had spoken - and we had been surprised. It is amazing how rarely the God story works out exactly like we anticipated or expected. He just knows better. He is just always right.
Prophetic moments are best left in His hands. He seeds our inner belly with prophetic multiplication. Out of His great love, He enlarges us with the seeds of faith. It is a journey of trust that so often remains shrouded in the unknown. That was our joy. We did not know what gender would surprise us when our child was born. We did not know what little personalities would join our journey. We did not know what they would add to us, nor what we would need to add to them.
I love being a father. I have loved the fatherless that have stumbled into my world and the joy we have shared discovering the significant wonder of adoption. My goattee is grey, my hair salt and pepper and I could give the rest of my life to being dad.