One of Those Days - A Dad Chronicle
***NOTE - This blog comes from a time in the early months of being a father.
I'm sure more of them will come. In fact, with twin girls, it's an absolute certainty. What with meltdowns and sassiness. I just didn't expect this one to happen so soon.
There came a moment the other night when the girls were singing in stereo. And by singing I mean crying. And when I say crying, what I really mean is screaming like two tiny banshees. I'm actually surprised none of you heard them. I'm almost positive the neighbors did cause I coulda swore I saw a patrol car drive by slowly to make sure there wasn't some horrible crime being committed.
It was the hunger no doubt.
We had them on a decent schedule. Half hour increments so that anyone parent doesn't get sideswiped were we ever have to take care of both of them alone (ya know like during the night shifts). But, as some of you well know, if you have kids, you don't live by your schedules, you live by theirs and somehow the unspeakable had happened.
They had synced up their feeding schedule.
As the dulcet tones of my two children rang out in their glorious revelry I was stunned. It wasn't so much a Sirens call as the bloodcurdling scream of a Kaiju for which I had no giant robot to battle with.
Two hungry babies fed through a crazy ordeal including my wife and together we find that the feeding was only the tip of the Titanic sinking iceberg.
The cry from a baby having gas is nothing if not incessant. The crying doesn't stop until the satisfying growl of that gas leaving the body does.
So we sat there pumping legs and laughing together at the farting duet.
But that's not all. Oh no. Not even by a long shot.
Next came the infamous Blowout. But unlike the blowout described last time, this one was the mother of all blowouts. Poop in the hair and while we were changing her, her foot got away from me and can you guess where it landed? Yup.
So we ran a bath and cleaned the little one up. At this point, we figured the worst had to be behind us. They'll tuck into their sleepers and have a good kip so mom and I can relax on the couch for a bit.
And super fussy to boot. Our assumption at this point is that they’re either overstimulated or just plain tired. We leaned toward the later only because we could see them fight the sleep in their eyes.
We knew they were full. Their diapers were clean. Gas had been expelled. We had been holding them. We tried pacifiers but, in their frustrations, they would spit them right out.
Finally, after what seemed like eternity stretching along, the girls fell into a restless sleep. Grunting and bah-ing. Twitching and moving. Jovi would shift, then lay out a super loud cry then settle back into a sleep again.
It was about this moment I started to feel like a really crappy dad.
Comforting and taking care of my kids was such a struggle I wondered if I could keep on going like this without losing sanity. Was this just an off day?
Then this, as most things do nowadays, got me thinking about God. Does He ever have one of those days?
I suppose the way I look at it, I’ve got to figure out the enigma of this Trinity thing. Does God ever feel like a bad father to Himself?
I saw a funny single panel comic once. On it was a picture of Jesus kneeling in, what I can only assume was, the Garden of Gethsemane. His hands were folded in front of him and his head was bowed with eyes closed (Did He learn that in Sunday school?) Below the picture was this caption:
“Hello God, It’s me, You”
I laughed for a solid 2 minutes on that one. That comic totally nailed the relationship of Christ to is Father and the nature of the Trinity and how it can be somewhat unnerving sometimes.
Taking what we know about the Trinity (Which isn’t much, let's be honest with ourselves) The question then is this.
Christ came to bring salvation through His sacrifice on the cross.
That was a hellish day.
Was that one of those days for the Father? For Himself?
This is in no way making light of God’s decision to send Himself to the grave on our behalf. How can I compare His bad day with my bad day? Nor would this information make my bad day carry any less merit.
What I'm getting at here is, He knows. Your disappointment, He knows. Your heartache, He knows. Your confusion, He knows. Your torment, He knows. He knows it all because He's experienced it. Been right in the middle of it.
And here is where it changes for us.
Remember the Trinity?
That strange trifecta of persons means something here because as Christ walked the earth, so did the Father, so did the Spirit. When Christ felt pain, heartache, injustice, fear, hopelessness, confusion, the Father felt it too. So did the Spirit. Because in some incredible way, we don't yet understand, Christ and the Father and the Spirit can no more separate themselves from each other than we could separate our brain or our heart from our body without dying.
So as Christ nears the end of His physical death He cries out: "Oh God! Where did you go?" Two things are happening.
First Jesus is so distraught in his moment of agony, so burdened by His emotional, spiritual, and physical pain He can't see his Father.
This ever happen to you? Life being what it is and there's a mess everywhere and that mess has blocked your sight from seeing God.
Second, and here is the trinity thing again.
Jesus, because of the weight He carries, is having a hard time seeing God in himself. He's having a crisis of self.
Remember that this doesn't take away from the power of God through this act. This doesn't minimize His character or His resolve. What it does do is further humanize Christ with His children.
Imagine you're going through a personal hell. Maybe it's a divorce. Something with terrible heartache involved. So you've decided to meet with a friend over coffee to talk about your frustrations and your hurts. Your friend went through a terrible divorce several years ago so as they speak hope and love and empathy into your life you hear their words resound in your heart because they've experienced the pain and have come out on the other side. They're still alive. You've seen them laugh since the pain, you've seen them find hope and love again.
This is what Christ was after.
You see everything about salvation is Christ looking for ways to connect with His creation. And what greater way can you connect than through empathy. Because if you were going through hell and you served a God whose never been through it, you would be able to yell: "How would you know what I'm going through?! How would you know my pain?!"
But He does. He is intimately acquainted with pain. With heartache. With hell. With the question of:
"Am I good enough?"
And it's this that brings us closer to Him. He better knows us, so that we can better know Him.
It helps me to know the human side of God. Cause as I look down on my two beautiful girls, finally sound asleep, I can say that even though I doubt myself as a dad at times. I do everything I can to better know them, so they can better know me.
And if that means having one of those days then so be it.
I'll take as many as I need.