07 July 2010

The Portrait

by Frank Turk

All this thinking about how to love people reminds me of a story. I heard it in church about a year and a half ago, so it shouldn't offend too many people.

There was a young man -- a doctor -- who was sent off to war, and he left behind a young wife and a 7-month-old baby girl. He was away at the war for two years, and was faithful to his wife. In writing to her frequently, he sent back a portrait of himself to her and the baby as a promise that he would return home soon.

He returned two years later, and the baby was now a toddler who didn't know him. In fact, in some ways she didn't want him in their house. He was a stranger, and he didn't belong. She only knew the portrait.

One Saturday the young doctor was sitting on the couch reading the paper when the toddler got up from her bed and slowly came down the stairs. He didn't want to antagonize her, so he just sat and read, watching her out of the corner of his eye.

She started in the kitchen, then the dining room, then came into the living room sort of watching him, sizing him up. She came to the other end of the sofa, and then pointed at the portrait.

"That's my daddy. Some day he's coming home," she said, looking at the portrait.

He lowered the paper, and looked at her -- both bursting with pride at her confidence and aching on the inside from her ignorance.

She looked at him again, and pointed at the portrait. "That's my daddy," she said certainly, and looked straight at the young doctor.

Then there was a curious silence as her face changed.

"You're my daddy," she said breathlessly.


David Kyle said...

After coming home from over a year long deployment my youngest son would always go to his mother to verify anything that I said.

It broke my heart.

So, I just loved him and eventually he recognized that I was in fact his father. I would hate to think that I do not always recognize others as "family" and grace them with the love with which I am shown.

Thanks Frank.

My word verification... equal

Death or Glory Toad said...

I've done that with four daughters many times. The reunions have always been harder than the departures. When their eyes opened up and realized the stranger was Daddy, it was beautiful.

Sorta like this story.


Jim Pemberton said...

How often does this happen between men and God before the full revelation of his presence occurs to someone who has misconstrued the image and clung dearly to it failing to recognize the living God in person?

Leberwurst said...

I think I understand Frank, we know His voice, and we have His Word, but still we construct a Jesus in our mind that we are comfortable with... will we really instantly recognize Him when we finally do SEE Him face to face?

Stuart Brogden said...

Having just given my daughter away in marriage last month, most any story about a father and daughter brings me tears.

Blessed be God for His grace and work in my grown children - both of whom are best of friends with each other and great compatriots with both parents.