By: Jana Greene
This evening, before my husband came home from work, I was making a casserole and listening to Jesus music. Let me be perfectly clear here – my musical tastes span nearly EVERY genre.
I don’t ONLY listen to Christian music.
I love Eminem.
Jack White is boss.
I also like some of the Jesus-y music, too.
I like to think that deep, deep down, under the smile lines and cellulite and freckles, I have an inner groupie who is wild and free and would love to follow The Grateful Dead all over Creation or something. But then, reality.
Always reality, right? Such a joy suck.
I love music…all kinds. I see God everywhere and in everyone. In the arts. In the science. I don’t like using the terms ‘secular’ and ‘religious.’ Honestly, both of those words stick in my throat. Ick! Who the heck do we think we are to deem each person, place, or thing either ‘secular’ or ‘religious.’
The God of the Universe need is not subject to our licensing laws. O.M.G.
Anyway…the chicken. Yes. As I’m putting the casserole into the oven, Chris Tomlin’s “Good, Good Father” comes on Pandora and I stop dead in my tracks. I don’t know what it is about this song – it’s catchy and repetitive, as are many, many contemporary Christian tunes. But Good, Good Father? It is the Official Anthem for Those Afflicted with Daddy Issues.
The lyrics, oh…the lyrics slay me! Tears spring up every time, every single time – and instantly. I am silly in my oven mitts, dancing circles around my kitchen by myself, but I don’t care. The song has so much depth to me.
Growing up, I didn’t know my dad. As a matter of fact, I’d met him only a smattering of times, even though we lived in the same town. He was a musician – a guitar player. I think my surprise birth threw him a curve ball. He was in the band that became ZZ Top, you see. He could have been a contender, as they say. He was a 19 year old kid when he became a father.
His first love was always music. He was obsessed with it. All my life, I’ve never allowed myself to consider that I got my adoration and encyclopedic knowledge of bands and music from my daddy. Couldn’t be. He was simply not around to influence me. But ah – in the nature vs. nurture debate,, nature is stronger than you’d think. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
But just two years ago – nearly 40 years from the last time I’d seen him – I reconnected with my biological father. We enjoyed Mexican food with my half-sister when I visited Houston.
It should have been awkward, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t awkward at all.
These people, my people! OMG, I HAVE PEOPLE!
I fell in love with my sister anew, too. At the table, I marveled that she, my father and I all have the same hands! It tickled me to no end to compare them. Puzzle pieces snapping into place neatly and flush with every other piece. Why did I ever doubt God would allow such a reunion in my lifetime?
Ah, I remember. Because I was afraid to be disappointed. That old chestnut.
Fear is a terrible bully, squashing hope to a pulp. Pulpy hope is worse than no hope at all.
Somehow, all through the years, God had caulked all of my cracks with grace, and I got to hold my earthly father’s hand, so similar to my own. I think there was a Mariachi band there, but that may just be fantasy on my part. It was a super festive evening.
One dad, two daughters. Just for that night. No pie-in-the-sky expectations of making up for lost time, but instead a tender rekindling of hope for the future.
I had the honor of telling my father that I loved him, and I MEANT it. I also had the honor of telling him that I forgive him, because my Jesus extends so much grace and forgiveness and love my way. I got to call my father “Dad” for the first time in my entire life. I had always called him by his first name “Bob” even as an infant. And you know what? My Daddy says he loves me, too.
And we’re cool, my dad and I.
I’m typing this through literal tears right now. Not because everything wrapped up in a nice, tidy package and VOILA! INSTANT RELATIONSHIP! That’s not what happened at all.
I’m crying because my good, good Heavenly Daddy saw fit to bring some family remnants together. And because my Abba was with me all along, delighting in me, his daughter so wild and free.
Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone
You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
‘Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word.
My love of music? I got it from my dad.
Sometimes it’s so sweet.
Here’s the audio for Chris Tomlin’s “Good, Good Father” Enjoy!