What’s an apple got to do with anything, much less Father’s Day? It has everything to do with it. And I do mean every thing.
God wrote this post on the tablet of my heart back in April, right about where I left off on the blog. But I saved it for June. I’ll cover May later, so in the meantime, can you walk backwards with me to April and beyond? We won’t trip, I promise, as long as we’re both holding onto each other—and to Him.
I just recently shared with a group of ladies about my first Women’s Bible study I attended at my church over a decade ago. I was a newlywed, married to the sweetest man on Earth (and the first kid I met when I moved to my hometown the summer after fifth grade).
I was clinging to the end of my 20’s, had been a Christian since the age of seven, but I was still broken. By the end of the study, my leader gave me a porcelain apple that God told her to give to me, along with His words—that I was the apple of my Father’s eyes.
She had no way of knowing that I’d come from a broken home and still carried issues because of it. But He did. And yet—He called me daughter. It’s just a small slice of what all God has done, but He used His Word and His women to be a healing place for a hurting girl.
We’ve been planted in that House ever since, over in neighboring Baton Rouge. But it’s growing about as fast as my girls outgrow shoes, so we’re planting a campus in our hometown of Denham Springs.
Fast forward to Easter weekend, when our church held its first service here at a local park. A park that was this former Miss Denham Springs’ prior stomping ground and playground. My childhood home was to the left and across from the park, and the trailer we had to move to at the end of my senior year was just to the right of the park.
So on Easter Eve, early on Saturday morning before I went there to pray, I drove by both, with Jesus riding along.
And over twenty years later, I drove down Eden Church Road, turned onto Eve Street, passed up Genesis Street and Garden Street, and then stared at my old street sign. I’d never thought about the name, yet there it was. Apple Street. And that first Women’s Bible study came flooding back.
What a picture of God placing His church and His cross smack dab in the middle of our difficulties, and surrounding us with a Father’s unfailing love.
And talk about timing. Just that week I’d been asked to lead the future Women’s Ministry. So sitting there at the intersection of the past and the present, I could hear my stammering words flung up to God, “Are you suuure? I mean, if I were you, I’d pick the flawless, shiny one, without all the bruises and the mealy parts. You know, the perfect one.”
But I knew the rebuttal. He already picked The Perfect One, and when we trust in the tree of the cross, we don’t have to be.
“OK. I get it. Finally. But what do I say? What do I tell them, the women you lead me to lead?”
Then I looked up to Him and to the “sign” that He gave, and pictured the smile of a Father, and heard the soft whisper to my own apple cheeks, “You tell them everything. Everything I’ve been to you. Everything I am to you. You just tell them about me. Everything I am. And Who I AM to them: a Father. And who they are to me: daughters—who ARE EVERYTHING to me.”
So what’s an apple have to do with Father’s Day? Absolutely EVERYTHING!
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8.
Daughter, your faith has made you well. Matt. 9:22
And how I love being with fellow daughters and women—at the well.
For more Father’s Day/Daughter’s Day reading, check out last year’s post here: http://christiehughesatthewell.com/2014/06/16/hes-your-daddy/
I wrote it then, but I finally get it now. Happy Daughter’s Day!
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