April 2, 2005, will forever be imprinted on my heart, mind, and soul. After battling cancer for almost a year, my dad qualified for a new experimental chemotherapy treatment that had an increasing success rate. We were so hopeful this might be his cure! But three weeks into the treatment, something went incredibly wrong. In one week’s time, he went from running around with his grandkids to each organ shutting down and landing him in the hospital on dialysis. As I entered his hospital room in the early morning hours of April 2nd, I feared what I would find. My dad’s nurse saw me first and said, “Milt, someone is here to see you. Do you know who it is?”

My dad barely turned his head, squinted his eyes, and said with the most endearing voice, “It’s Lynette. She is my daughter.” No words could have expressed a more relational, heartfelt, compassionate love. As his daughter, he called me by name, the name he and my mom had given me. And he called me his daughter, a word that spoke volumes about my identity in relation to him as my dad.

In Luke 8, when the woman with the issue of blood reached out to Jesus, he didn’t scorn her or tell her to leave. He didn’t even ignore her. He looked deep into her eyes and declared her identity. Jesus called her “daughter” and proclaimed that her faith had healed her. Calling her “daughter” set aside and completely refuted every pretense, every bit of judgment, all scorn, and all shame. “Daughter” was her identity.

Later that same day, my dad passed into the presence of his Everlasting Father, where he was ushered in as a child of God; a son of the King. His words spoken earlier were his last here on earth, yet, “she is my daughter” will forever ring in my soul. It is part of my earthly identity. Yet how much more precious is it to be called a daughter of the Almighty King? To be called children of God is our identity. It defines whose image we bear. It speaks of our value as being more precious than silver, gold, and fine jewels. It tells of our future as heirs. It proclaims us recipients of immeasurable grace, forgiveness, and abundance.

You may not have experienced the adoring love of an earthly father, a sorrow that brings about deep anguish and grief. Please know that the love of your Everlasting Father unconditionally claims you as his heir; his precious child. And if you did or do have a loving dad, look for opportunities to remind others of their identity as sons and daughters of the Eternal King!

Lynette Fuson
Care & Counseling Director

Subscribe to the Daily Fill