By Bruce Green
Teaching Minister at 10th Street Church of Christ
I heard the following story on Moth Radio a few years and thought it would be good to share for Father’s Day. It is about a husband and wife who have just experienced the birth of their first child—a girl.
The father is sent from the hospital to a grocery store across the street to get a few items. He’s on one of the aisles scoping things out when over the store’s sound system Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” begins to play. As you might recall, the song is about the birth of Wonder’s daughter (complete with her crying at the beginning).
For our first-time father, it becomes the tipping point as the magnitude of what has transpired sinks in. He and his wife are parents of a beautiful baby girl. Together, they have brought this tiny, precious life into the world. She is now theirs to nurture and raise. Every parent has experienced this moment when the potent combination of blessing and responsibility staggers you and right there in the middle of the aisle he has his and it results in what can only be described as a man melt down as he drops to his knees, tears rolling down his cheeks.
There is approximately two percent of his brain that is still functioning, however, and it hears the song interrupted by an announcement requesting immediate assistance on aisle 14. He has just enough presence of mind to look up and see that he is on aisle 14—and that he is the only person on the aisle. At just that moment, a teen-age bag boy comes around the corner and asks in a squeaky voice if everything is okay. He tells him it is and notices that the young man looks as relived as he is.
He realizes though that he needs to compose himself and is starting to do so when he sees lumbering up the aisle in his direction a hulk of a man. He has the word “manager” on his name badge and in the words of our new father, he looks like “Rush Limbaugh’s angrier brother.”
“Sir, how can I be of assistance to you?” he thunders.
Our father decides to come clean and tells him that he came from the hospital across the street where he and his wife just had their first child, a girl. He tells him how when the song started playing, he just kind of lost it. At the mention of the song, the store manager stops and cocks his head to listen because he hears the music all day and pays no attention to it.
The next thing our father knows, his head is buried in the chest of this hulking man who has his arms locked around him. All the father can think of is how he’s going to call for store security and in the years to come his daughter will ask him to tell the story again of how he got arrested on the day she was born.
The two percent of his brain that is still functioning hears the manager say, “My wife and I just had our first child, a little girl, born two months ago.”
And there you have it—just two first-time dads celebrating the joy of fatherhood on aisle 14 of your local grocery store.
For those of us who belong to Christ, it’s something more because it’s hard to think about how much we love our children without thinking about how much our Father love us. It was so great that He was willing to give up His first-born for us.
“How deep the Father’s love for us — how vast beyond all measure!”
You can find more of Bruce’s writings at his website: a-taste-of-grace-with-bruce-green.com