Many of us have an image of God as a loving father, or mother. For those us who are not parents, or perhaps have had a difficult time with our own parents, it might be hard to understand this image. Moments like the one with my neighbour and his son remind me of what the pure love of a parent for their child can be like. A parent longs to protect their child, teaches them well in order to prepare them for life, gives them space to grow and risk, and yet also lets them know that they are safe and loved. A good parent does not stifle their child to protect them from life, but equips the child to deal with all that life might offer it. A daughter of friends of mine is moving to another city and will be far away from home for the first time. She wrote to her moms, “Now it's time for me to spread these beautiful wings that you've helped me grow. Know that I'm not flying away, but showing off all our hard work to the rest of the world”.
How would it be if we were to say the same to God? How would it be for us to assume that God actually wants the best for us out of life, will be there for us all the time, letting us make our mistakes and learn from them, in order for us to grow? Believing in God does not make life perfect, any more than a loving parent can protect their child from all the things that can happen in life. However, our faith can be a source of strength for us in challenging times and a joy for us when things go well. This week I invite you to remember moments in your life when someone has believed in you and helped you to grow, just as a loving parent would do. Take time to thank God for this person and consider how you might do the same for someone else.