“You know that we treated each one of you the way a father treats his own children, with encouragement and comfort.” I Thessalonians 2:11-12a (ERV)
The day after Mia’s cheer competition that was shown on a Duck Dynasty episode a few weeks ago, we left for Dallas where she would be having another major surgery, the most severe to date of her young life. Sitting in the doctor’s office for one of the pre-op visits, Mia said, “Daddy, take a selfie with me.”
Jase said, “I don’t do selfies.”
Upon seeing the disappointed look on his little girl’s face, he quickly changed his mind.
Watching this exchange, I immediately remembered a statement he made to me over 20 years ago.
When Jase and I first got married and started talking about having children, he told me, “Now, I’m not gonna be going to our kids’ baseball games and football games and all that, so let’s just get that out in the open right now.” Being raised by parents who, not only never missed a game that I cheered at and never missed any of my musical or drama performances, I have every single one of those moments on video tape. Even now, if I went into my parents’ house and asked to see my cheerleading competition from the summer of 1986, they would be able to pull it right out as everything is catalogued and organized in chronological order of my childhood! So, you can imagine my disappointment at hearing my husband state those words. But I hoped, and I prayed about it. I didn’t just pray that Jase would change his mind, but I also prayed that I would be able to handle sitting in those stands, stadiums or auditoriums alone.
Over the years, I’m not sure I can remember more than just a few times that Jase was not sitting beside me as we watched Reed, Cole and Mia perform in their choice of activities. And when he wasn’t able to be there, he was either calling or texting me for updates. A few years ago at one of Reed’s high school football games, it started raining. It rained harder and harder and harder until we realized that no slicker or umbrella was going to do us any good. As the stands started to empty quickly, all of us parents (and some grandparents) embraced the monsoon with laughter and joy at watching our boys play one of the best-fought games of the year. Some of the players even turned from the sidelines to see if anyone was still there. Thumbs-up’s, waves and smiles were exchanged between parents and sons, which, in my humble opinion, gave those boys a little boost of encouragement. We weren’t going anywhere, no matter what. Besides winning the state championship a few weeks later, it was the most fun game of the year!
Jase went from making a statement about never attending any of his kids’ sporting events to sitting in a high school stadium in the pouring down rain for hours, coaching Cole’s baseball team and leading a group of 14-year-old boys from all different walks of life who no one ever thought had a chance to have a winning season all the way to being the league champions, and even doing Mia’s hair and makeup and getting her to her cheerleading competition on time when I was unable to be there.
Jase proved to me and to our children that he will go the extra mile for them. I appreciated every one of those instances (and there are many, many more) because I remembered that one conversation.
Aren’t you glad we have a Father who will go the extra mile? He understood that His people would never be able to have life without Him doing something that he absolutely agonized over. He had to give up his only child for the sake of the world, for my sake. He could have easily decided that it wasn’t worth it – to heck with those sorry people! But He didn’t. He went the extra infinite mile.
When you think about the mile The Father in Heaven took, it makes those extra miles we are faced with pale in comparison.
Especially taking a selfie with your pre-teen.