The Word Fathers Long To Hear

Author: James McAlister
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On Friday we made another expedition to Deal Cemetery in Ladelle to decorate Jenny’s grave.

I miss Jenny and often feel sadness because I’ll never see her again in this life. She was, after all, one-third of my small flock, and I sometimes feel wronged over what seems to be her untimely death. Instead of being discouraged, however, I must learn to thank God for the 22 memorable years He gave us together.

Blind and profoundly retarded from birth, Jenny could see only with the eyes of her heart. But the future holds a particular hope, one expressed in the epitaph (from the Bible’s book of John) we had inscribed on her tombstone. When we finally stand face to face in heaven, I fully expect her to lovingly repeat those same words back to me.

But this time they will be more than mere symbols carved in cold, lifeless granite. Coming from the lips of one who never spoke a single word in her entire 22 years, I expect them to ring with the warm sweetness of all that heaven holds: “I once was blind, but now I see.” I anticipate that day and the healing it will bring.

And soon after the echoes of joy over newfound sight have died away, I expect—and even hope for—the pleasure of one word thus far denied me despite my desires and prayers to hear it. For with Jenny’s sight will come recognition of an intent face, one perceived but until then unseen. And then will come the one word fathers long to hear: “Daddy!”

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
I Cor. 13:12

Copyright © 2004 James McAlister.
Permission granted for reproduction in exact form. All other uses require written permission.
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