Words can hurt
Words can hurt and words can heal, as we all know. Bullying labels from childhood can sting long into adulthood. As a six-foot-tall teenager back in the 60s, my constant greeting from one boy was “Ho, ho, ho. Here comes the jolly green giant.” You can see the commercial that led to this emotionally crushing moniker at http://yhoo.it/1KaYAHH
It took decades, literally decades, before I could accept that God did not make a mistake when He made me six feet tall.
Words can heal, encourage, and nurture the heart
Fortunately, although I had the painful experiences common to all teens, I also had a loving, tender father. On the outside, and in the outside world, Daddy was a John Wayne kind of man – masculine, no-nonsense, strong and often silent. He was the superintendent of a rock mine and in that role as a leader of men, he had to be strong.
But as soon as Daddy came home each night, my world was complete and my heart was at peace, just because he was there. Daddy called me “baby doll”, a term of deepest endearment I still use with my own grown-up daughter. And it is a strange thing – whenever I call Sharon “baby doll” I still feel Daddy’s love – and that feeling gets richer and warmer each passing year.
A father’s love – a priceless inheritance for his family
My parents both did a wonderful job raising their family. They taught me values that have shaped my life for the good. As a Daddy’s girl, the tender love of my father was the greatest of all possible gifts. That love helped me accept the concept of a Heavenly Father who was loving and tender and who would take care of me and keep me safe.
This unfathomable love of God for us is described in Psalm 103, verses 11 through 14.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His [God’s] love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust. [emphasis added] (New International Version)
I am grateful beyond words for an earthly Daddy who showed me what my Heavenly Father’s love is like. And I am so very grateful I get to pass that love on to family and friends!