One of my favorite memories of my father is from my senior year of high school. I don’t remember how I did it, but somehow I had injured my ankle at the end of the school year. It was the week of the dance recital at school, and I could not imagine sitting out the recital – it was my last one in high school. I had a solo in the class dance. I had a lift with the two guys in the class. It was my time to shine. There was a tradition of honoring the senior dancers, and a tradition of honoring those who had danced at Enloe all four years. As someone who wasn’t in the limelight too often, I was looking forward to the dance and having my 15 seconds of glory with a solo as a four year-dancer.
When I got home from school the day I hurt my ankle, I told my father that I was not feeling well and went into my room. My mother must have been traveling at the time, as the only person I remember being home is my father. Eventually Dad came to check on me and found me crying because of the physical and emotional pain I was feeling. He told me that I could not dance if I was injured.
I was devastated. Dad saw my pain and did something I will never forget. He stood in my room that night, late as it was, and rubbed my sore leg for over 30 minutes. That’s a very long time to stand over someone else. But Dad never complained. He did not lecture me. He just stood there and rubbed my leg. Even then, long before I had children of my own, I knew that he had done something extraordinary for me, out of his great love for me.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13) I cannot think of a better way to understand God’s love than through the lens of a parent. A loving parent would do anything for her child. We cannot understand the depth of God’s love, but we can understand unconditional love. We can understand the desire to have your child love you in return. And so God’s love is given to us. God loves us through the gift of the Holy Spirit, which intercedes for us with God.
I hope to see you in worship this Sunday as we think about God’s love and how it is offered to us. Luke 11:1-13 teaches us how to pray and why we should pray in this way. And Jesus reminds us that God’s love is greater than even a parent’s love.