My parents, upon announcing they were leaving to go into town were stilled by the shrill shout of a small boy.
"WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Indeed it was shrill and most definitely rooted them to the spot.
Ignoring the books he sent flying off the shelf, the boy barreled around obstacles, his feet seemed not to touch the ground as he left his seat on the couch (watching Sesame Street) and threw himself into Mom.
"Goodbye mom!!! I LOVE YOU!!!" He squeezed her tightly and (with his arms still bound around her) he cocked his head around to the side of her.
"Dad?!?....DAD?!?!?" Dad came walking back to the door and Freeman waved his hand frantically.
"Bye Dad!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!" He hugged mom one more time and went back to the couch. I remarked silently to myself how much he loved his mom and dad and went back to entering business taxes into the computer.
Hours later the dogs started barking and we heard a vehicle come up the drive. Freeman dropped his sketch book and raced to the door as it opened and once more threw himself at his mom.
"HI Mom!! I love you!!" He squeezed her tightly, and she hugged him back.
"Hey Bud, did you have a good day?" She asked before stepping up beside me.
"Hey mom. I corrected the date problem with the taxes, so you won't have to." I greeted, briefly taking my eyes off the computer to glance up at her with a smile.
"And I'm done with the main account. All that's left is the card account and the curves account."
She let out a sigh and smiled.
"You go girl. Thank you. This helps me so much." She left and I saved the data on the computer.
We all express our love in a different way. Some with gifts. Others in service, still others with words or a hug or pat on the back or simply spending time with someone.
My brother, five years old, has been through more change than anyone can imagine. Or perhaps we can. He's gone through saying goodbye to his mother and father, to living in an orphanage, to meeting a group of strangers and being told they were his new family, to being taken from his home and friends to a new place, full of new sights and smells, new places, new everything, to throwing himself at my mom excitedly and practically yelling.
"I LOVE YOU MOM!!!!"
He didn't know what to expect coming here. He didn't know if he would be loved. He didn't know if when he screwed up he would still be loved.
I said, perhaps we can imagine.
I think a lot of the time we take for granted our adoption. We forget that moment, of falling at our fathers feet and crying: "DAD!!! I LOVE YOU!". Yes, often we take this for granted.
We forget until we are forced to do it again.
What makes a father feel like a father? Is it when he holds his newborn son or daughter in his arms? Is it when he teaches them how to ride a bike? Is it sitting around a table with his friends and children playing a game? Is it when he hears them faintly crying and seeks them out, and when finding them he also finds a large scrape or bruise on their knee or elbow. He scoops them up in his arms as they cling to him and quietly or not sob into his shoulder. He quiets them with his love, and once they're cleaned up they share a hug.
"I love you."
What does it mean to know Him as father?
I think the answer is there. I think the answer is right in front of us, only we're too blind and arrogant to see it. We're too prideful and arrogant to cry our for him. Too self conscious to throw ourselves into his arms and shout: "I LOVE YOU!"
"Trust God. He won't rip you off"