Ok, we’re in Day Two of Chandler’s 22nd birthday celebration, so I’ve pulled out another of my favorite Chandler Catches — this, from a Father’s Day when he was six.
A big part of our purpose in life springs from knowing to whom we belong.
I received an incredible gift from my 6-year-old this weekend. It consisted of a picture frame and a card, both of which he made at school for a Father’s Day gift. The card has a portrait of me on the front (he told me ahead of time that he had drawn me with hair on the top of my head, an embellishment that definitely enhanced my looks and makes me appear much younger than I really am), and a note from him on the inside. Though I love the portrait, it was the note that got me. The note looked something like this:
Mi I iH
I Love mY bab
That translates through his childhood dyslexia to read: “Hi. I’m Chandler, your son. I love my dad.”
I can’t look at it without tearing up.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I received it, and I think what moves me so about this is his clear sense of identity as belonging to me. It tells me that he gets the fact that he is my son, and he’s proud about that. I’m a big part of his identity right now, and that’s an important part of his development at this age. I know I won’t always be this much of a part of his life (I’ve been through this a couple times already as a dad), so I’m trying not to make this something I hold onto for my benefit except to rejoice in the fact that he knows he belongs to someone. I see it more for his benefit than for mine.
It is the same for us in relation to our heavenly Father. I’m sure our Father’s Day card to Him would appear just as primitive. Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us that: “You received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Roman 8:15) “Abba” is that basic childlike utterance from our soul to God, as if to say, “Mi I iH JOHN Your suun.”
And just as Chandler’s card brought me such joy and satisfaction, so our heartfelt, childlike expressions to God do the same for him. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5 NLT; emphasis added)
A big part of your purpose, then, is to bring pleasure to God for no other reason than he wanted to adopt you. You can’t earn that. You just receive it and embrace being his child. Oh, and you might want to write him a little note. Something like: “I Love mY bab.” And if you’re going to draw His picture, give him lots of hair. Dad’s like that kind of thing.