March 6, 2014

Thoughts from Mark

I know, it sounds crazy.

As I’ve discovered more and more about the Lord, I realize how fatherly He really is.  And fathers relate to their children uniquely.  What we may consider a right and proper response, His nature allows Him to respond quite differently.

My beautiful wife Dawn manages our restaurant.  Recently I had been noticing that the weight of the responsibility had become more of a burden than a healthy challenge.  Instead of work, it was becoming labor.  I could see it on her face, hear it in her voice.

Several weeks ago a key associate met with us to tender their 2-week notice.  Knowing we couldn’t hire another in that short of a time, Dawn and I knew she would have to take on this role in addition to her current duties.

As her husband, I was deeply concerned.  The idea of adding more weight to an already burdened woman troubled me.  I began strategizing how I could take things off of her, transferring them to myself or others within the company.

Before I had a chance to even discuss any plan with Dawn, something remarkable happened.  Within hours of meeting with our exiting associate, Dawn came alive.  More alive than she had been in months, maybe years.

It was if the added weight pressed deep enough into her that it flipped a switch.  A grace switch.  A “more of Dawn” button.  What arose was a new woman.  Filled with vision, purpose and vitality.  She was thinking clearly, dispatching responsibility to able associates.

More weight set Dawn free.

I don’t know how else to explain it.  It’s as if her Daddy saw her struggle but was unafraid to look deeper.  Deeper into her.  He saw that switch.  He knew that grace reservoir was there.  To do the expected and alleviate her pressure would have left that switch unattended.

But He’s a father.  A really good one–the best.  One who knows that His power is made perfect in weakness.  One who is unafraid of our pain and temporary discomfort.

A Father who sets us free is good.  A Father who makes us free is great.

I am witness of Dawn being made free.  Her Daddy’s compassion didn’t take the weight off.  True compassion is realizing a child’s greatest burden is not the weight they carry but their lack of walking in their full ability to carry it.

A father knows a child’s capacity and is unafraid to unlock it.

Let His fatherly courage be yours.

Be made free.

In love,

Mark