You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
I had to go to the dentist the other day. Not a pleasant experience but things have improved since I was a child. Anyway, whilst sitting waiting my turn a father came in holding his daughter’s hand. Together they went to the reception desk, where father explained that the daughter would be a new patient. They were asked to wait for a few moments when someone would attend to them. They sat down next to a window. The child had no idea where she was or why. All she knew was that Daddy had taken her for a ride in his car and then they had climbed the steps to this room; a room filled with strange men and women although with little noise as they all seemed to be reading, which was comforting. Daddy was talking to a lady who wrote things down but there was nothing unusual about that since people often seemed to write things in books or tap buttons on a machine. She was more concerned with the birds and trees she could see from the window. When the nurse had left them Daddy was still sitting next to her, he hadn’t left her so everything was ok wasn’t it? She climbed on his lap and gave him a great big smile which radiated through the whole waiting room. There could be no doubt in the mind of anyone who saw it as to the love she had for her father, which was clearly reciprocated. When they were called to see the dentist her father stood up and offered her his hand. “Come on,” he said, “Let’s go”. She took his hand and went with him through the door and down the corridor. She had no idea what lay beyond that door or where the corridor led but Daddy had a firm hold of her hand and she knew she could trust him not to let anything bad happen to her.
In the same way Jesus does not let us face the slings and arrows of this world alone. He offers us his hand and invites us to follow him, to go with him. As the young lady took her father’s hand with confidence and followed him even though she had no idea where they were going so are we called to take the hand that Our Lord and Master offers us and follow Him. The hand that Jesus offers is God’s unconditional love for us, summed up in the word Abba which means Father but can probably best be translated as Daddy. Taking His hand is our response to His love.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years