As I was quietly washing dishes, I looked up, out the kitchen window to a forest drowsy with green-gold sunlight, blanketed with fragile wildflowers, and I had a moment with God. I felt that we smiled at each other, our hearts bursting. I love you so much, I told Him. It was a moment where I wished to embrace Him.

And then this thought arose: can I not embrace Him? I do not doubt that He desires to embrace me too. Must we wait until Heaven, though? I realized then, standing there at the sink, that He does indeed come to me in this life, with manly arms and manly smell—and even manly whiskers.

He comes to me as Dad.

I think I understand now, my father, why you so often are driven from your office chair to find me, to hold me and kiss my hair—it must be God’s love for me welling up and overflowing through you. Yes, through you God’s heart can beat against my own. Through you, He can laugh at my humor and express His own (even be it as zany as stuffing marshmallows into your eye sockets), wipe the tears from my cheeks with His thumb, tell me I am truly beautiful and that He is beyond proud to call me His daughter. You are His doorway to me.

I know that not every girl’s father is an open doorway. No, not every girl has felt God’s embrace, heard His belly laugh, or received His affirmation. But you, you will not leave me to wait until Heaven, because you are truly Abba to me.

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