by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
Father’s Day was bittersweet. It was my first one since Dad passed away, and I was scared I would have a meltdown. I survived by soothing myself with the treasure-trove of memories I have of him. So much of who he was made me who I am today.
Dad was technically my step-father. My biological father, Gary, was an unstable alcoholic. By the time Mom divorced him and met Dad, I was pretty damaged by Gary. That made me leery of accepting Dad’s love, but that didn’t stop him. He loved me with a ferocity that eliminated the word “step” from step-dad. He won my heart and became my Daddy. He also gave me a great representation of what our Heavenly Father is like.
The thought of calling God “Father” was blasphemous before Jesus. But Jesus told people that God is a Father. He also said they could think of God as Abba. Abba is the Aramaic term for Daddy. That was more than the Pharisees could bear, and it led to Him being crucified. Jesus died to give us an Abba.
But not only did Jesus tell us to think of God as our Abba, the Apostle Paul did, as well. Paul said in Romans that God didn’t give us a spirit of slavery, but gave us a spirit of adoption, which enables us to cry out, “Abba!” That means God wants us to know we are accepted and adopted. He is our Daddy, and He doesn’t want us to feel like foster kids.
I have a friend who was a foster kid. From the age of 5 to 18, she lived in over 15 different foster homes. She told me she used trash bags for luggage. She said she never bothered to unpack those trash bags fully, knowing it was just a matter of time before she would get kicked out.
In some homes, she didn’t have clean clothes and didn’t know if she would get enough to eat. Having to fend for herself taught her to sneak and steal. That garnered her the label of a “problem child,” which made her placements even worse. Some of them weren’t safe, and bad things happened after the lights went out.
She said she hated the uncertainty and the feeling of not belonging. What she wanted was to feel accepted and loved. What she had, though, was the knowledge that she was just one mistake away from having to pick up those trash bags and move again.
I have another friend who is in the process of adopting two beautiful foster children. Before she rescued them, their lives were unstable and scary. They are a little damaged. My friend doesn’t care. She looks past the damage and accepts them. She wants to love them to wholeness, but they have to accept being accepted. Some of us never accept being accepted by Abba.
Through our faith in Jesus, Abba can take our trash bags and gives us a Kingdom. He wants us to feel at home in His love and to know we aren’t going to get kicked out if we mess up. Abba is love, and love looks past mistakes and sees the damaged soul inside. Love opens it’s refrigerator wide and says, “come, feast on all I have for you!” But most of all, love accepts you just as you are.
If you haven’t allowed yourself to see God as your Abba, you are probably relating to him as a foster child. Do yourself a favor, drop those trash bags, and run into the arms of your Daddy.