As a Father

Written soon after Father’s Day of this year…

For the past week and a half, I’ve been nursing a lower back injury. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, that means a week and a half ago I was unable to perform basic tasks like roll over in bed or walk to the bathroom. I’d put the pain scale at a solid 9/10 only because I’m reserving 10 for childbirth (however, I heard recently from a mother that she found back pain the worst of the two. Time will tell!). I’m on the mend, though, and I can walk. And thank you but no thank you to all of the ideas on how I can get better quickly; I’m taking a path, I promise!

This back pain came as the finishing touch to a mentally draining transition. I am so excited to get married, change careers, and move across the ocean. But man. It’s a lot to lose one’s job, gym, apartment, community, routine, and space all in 24 hours. And then to be bedridden with level 10 pain? The mental suffering was real. 

The inability to do anything presented a need for something I hate: asking for help. I don’t mind asking the tall colleague to edit emails or my mom for her chili recipe–but like, bring me water in bed? Please hand me that pen that I dropped? What am I, helpless? 

Well. Yeah. 

I hate that feeling. Asking. What if they resent me? What if they don’t help me willingly but out of obligation? What if they think I’m overreacting and shouldn’t be asking for such basic things? 

And then my dad calls. “Just checking in to see how you’re doing. Anything I can do for you?” There is a physical therapist friend, a number shared, a helpful conversation. 
Then dad comes home. I enter a room and he asks in the warmest way, “Hey Callie, whatcha need?” He notices when I try to draw the pen on the floor closer to me with my toes, not sure how I’ll get it higher. “Leave it, Callie, I’ll get it.” Later, he notices when I rise from the table, seeking a more comfortable place. “How can I help you, Callie?”

His constant asking makes my asking easier. His obvious love and overt willingness to do anything to help me makes me want to ask for the help I so need. He reminds me of an even kinder and more generous heart. 

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7‭-‬11, ESV

My reluctance to ask boils down to two reasons: my pride and the character of who I’m asking. The character of the Father causes no reason to question His willingness. And like my dad, His love has a way of overshadowing my pride and inviting me to share my needs. He’s a good Father, and He always gives good things to those who ask Him.