We were sitting out on the porch with our adorable nieces and nephew when I finally understood the theology of the Trinity. The three older kids (9, 7 and 5) had set up their special picnic bench, a few feet away from the grown-ups and right next to the swing set so they could jump up and play while eating their hot dogs.
Their baby sister Lauren, up until this moment eating her dinner propped up on a chair next to her dad and mom, suddenly climbed down from her chair, toddled over to the kids’ bench and sat down. Her delighted sisters and brother moved over to make room for her.
In that huge developmental step she demonstrated that she knew who she was. She was a member of a family. She had a loving mom and dad and lots of other adoring family members. She had a brother and two sisters. She was a child, and her place was at the child’s table. She could leave the safety of mom and dad and place herself right there on the bench with her siblings. And somebody pass the potato chips.
That’s when I got it. Our hearts are restless until they rest in God, and God isn’t solitary. God exists in a relationship of Three. We are made to find our place in the world, always in relationship with others. We leave that place of infant unconsciousness and firmly place ourselves at the table, where we belong to others and they belong to us.
And of course none of those relationships happen without fathers. Thanks, dad.
In what ways did your father help you find your place in the world?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).