Trigger warning for abuse victims.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” Luke 11:11 NIV
Sadly, as Jesus well knew when he said this, there are some fathers who would do just that. In this corrupted world, relationships that are meant to be precious and true are sometimes instead violent, abusive or destructive. And fatherhood is one of the most vile things once it becomes a travesty.
Just as our living God seeks to turn bad things on their heads and preaches to us an upside down kingdom for a gospel, so his enemies seek to turn the finest and purest things to darkness. With this in mind, I am moved to share a prayer picture given to me this morning, which may give us hope.
I see God’s love as a bright blue, ever flowing, all pervading, yet gently patient force, a kind of liquid grace that will not be deterred. It seeks to seep in everywhere, knows no boundaries, fears no dark places, endures and will never give up.
I see the enemy as a small charred demon clutching a soul to its chest and that the difference between love and hate, light and dark is that whereas hate wants us for itself, love loves us in order to set us free. The Father’s love aims to release us into love, that we might experience it, see it, know it and seek to join it, adding to the flow. Love does not seek to gratify or glorify itself, it loves outwards, whereas darkness “loves” (in its travesty of what it thinks love is) only itself and inwards. Real love cannot fail because it will eventually arrive everywhere, whereas darkness will fall in on itself, imploding.
Evil is, I am given to understand, like a black hole, trying to take everything with it, it wants all to suffer the fate it suffers; but the universe will keep birthing more and more love, like matter, to love and embrace. In short the difference is that between embracing and grasping.
Even if we have been victims of the darkness, and been captured by those greedy, grasping hands, that would laughingly give us a snake instead of a fish, or a stone instead of bread: poison instead of sustenance, hardness instead of softness; even if we were or are one of those who allowed themselves to become perpetrators of such darkness; we can still, with the courage given us by grace, open our hearts and beings up to the waves of real parental love which are waiting to engulf us in their sweet veracity.
Photo from Morguefile.com