Thursday, September 03, 2009

Just Tell Dad

When I was 10 years old, I was the ball boy for the high school football team my dad coached. It was fun and sometimes pretty hard work. In some ways the game depended on us because if we didn’t get a ball out there on the field… well, you can’t really play without a ball, you know? During rain games we dried, protected and changed the game ball between every play, sprinting from the side lines to the middle of the field and back around a hundred times! We ran as much as any starter and way more than a lot of those sophomores who didn’t even need to lace their cleats or snap up their helmets. It was exhausting and exhilarating work for a 4th grader.

I remember this one game in mid November that was absolutely freezing! We were deep in the playoffs when the ground is hard and cold and you don’t take a breath you can’t see. By the end of the game I was physically spent from two plus hours of sprinting on and off the field. I was sweating and freezing at the same time and now that the game was over, the cold was really sinking in. I climbed the mountain of steps at Blankenship field and saw parents and boosters club members offering hot chocolate to players and cheerleaders. I got in line, so excited to be warmed by that piping, steaming hot cocoa… When I got to the table, a man shunted me off to the side telling me, “Get outta here! This is for players!” I tried to tell him I was a ball boy, but he yelled at me some more. This guy didn’t really know what he was doing because, while I might not have looked like much, I was the son of someone who did… I ran and told my dad (the coach).

I don’t really know what happened after that… I am assuming that they didn’t have a very pleasant meeting. All I know is that this same man who had shunted me out of the way and denied me chocolaty refreshment then found me, apologized for his mistake and handed me two cups of hot chocolate!

Sometimes stuff happens to you… people are hurtful. They are unfair. They put their foot in their mouth and sometimes they can break your heart. I feel like our natural reaction in these situations is to run to our nearest friend and bend their ear about it… we relate the story with the emphasis in all the right places, hoping that we will be vindicated in their eyes and that they will aid us in maligning the one who hurt us. But wait… isn’t there someone else we can tell? Isn’t there a way for us to spill our broken hearts out that won’t tempt us to simply wind up talking about someone else?

We have a Dad. We have a Dad who wants to hear every ache, every heart-hurt. He wants you to run to Him with every misunderstanding and problem you face. Here’s the thing: he doesn’t just want to hear about it, He’s gonna do something about it. Psalm 56:8 says, “Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll - are they not in your record?” The book of Revelation says that the prayers of the saints are kept in a bowl and at the end of all things the bowl will be turned over and will be peals of lightning and thunder wreaking havoc on the earth… our prayers are like a cosmic weapons cache being stored up for the vengeance of God. I don’t need to gossip and complain about my problems… I have a Father who journals about my tears and who will vindicate me at the end of everything! Just tell your Heavenly Dad. He cares so much more than you even know about all of the things that break your heart.

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