I have been reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis for the first time. If you aren’t familiar with this book, the story takes place in a realm between what we would call heaven and hell, a place where people choose if they want to go further up the mountain to heaven or back to hell. I came across a passage in the book where a mother was visiting this realm and was met by her brother who had come down the mountain to persuade her to return with him. The mother had come with hopes of seeing the son she had lost on earth years before. Her brother soon realized that she hadn’t grown past this loss that had enveloped her while she lived her final days on earth. She still wanted nothing to do with moving past this emptiness and believed the only healing would be to see her son again. The mountain was merely a place to climb to see her son, not to see The Father of all good things.
This resonated with me, but in a different aspect.
A couple of years ago, the Father asked me to stop thanking Him for healing my heart from grief each time I reflected on His goodness. He told me that He had even more for me, and after doing this I soon realized that what He had for me wasn’t a thing, it was Him.
He wanted me to only want Him, not the beautiful, mind boggling, miraculous thing He did by healing my heart. I began to slowly see that He is much more than a Father who heals hearts.
More than a Father who provides.
More than a Father who heals our bodies.
More than a Father who parts the sea.
He is our Father.
When I was young and my dad worked late nights, I would stay up until I heard the creaky front door open and close; the heavy, sweetly familiar footfalls thump through the house. Then I would come out of my room as my dad was rummaging through the kitchen for some late dinner and wrap my arms around him and feel his scratchy sweater as I buried my face to him. He would wrap his arms around me and hold me for a long time and tell me how much he loved me. That is the only reason I stayed up late. I only wanted the familiarness of my dad.
And that is where I want to be with my Father. I want to walk this earth with Him, knowing that He is more than a giver of gifts, even of gifts that reveal who He is. He is our Father and that alone should be the place, the refuge, where we rest our souls. A refuge of knowing that if we received no other gifts, the gift of Him walking with us as our Father is the greatest gift of all.
And when I climb that mountain one day, it will not be a climb to thank the Giver of good gifts. I will climb – no, I will run up that mountain to wrap my arms around my Father and breathe in deeply His scent of familiarity and mystery.
The photo above is of The Grand Tetons.