It wasn’t major, simply one of those fairly normal interactions that often happen when families are trying to get out the door in the morning. She wasn’t happy with this. She wasn’t happy with that. She made a face at one thing and groaned at another.
And when we got in the car and she made one more slightly snarky comment, I shot back.
I regretted it the minute the words left my mouth.
Actually, it was one word in particular I regretted… Oh, I thought, that could sting.
I wanted to apologize, but that very second, the car door opened, and the rest of the crew tumbled in.
I prayed the entire way to church. Lord, give me a chance alone with her to say I’m sorry, to say I was wrong. And, somehow, please, restore this break I created in our relationship.
I dropped everyone off at the door and parked, still praying for an opportunity before church began. I couldn’t sit through an entire service with that rift between us.
But they were still in a clump when I entered, and I had to check one into children’s church. Then another asked me a question as we walked toward the sanctuary. We were getting closer, closer; our group was straggling into a line. I fell into step next to her.
Finally, right outside the doors, it was just the two of us. “I need to talk to you,” I told her, and we stepped aside.
I apologized, and then–what grace–she did, too.
We walked into our sanctuary with our rift repaired and our bond re-affirmed. The opening notes of “Behold Our God” accompanied us to our seats, and I sang with gratitude about the majesty of a God who is great enough to hold the oceans in his hands, whose voice makes nations tremble, who needs no counsel from anyone…
Who, despite being incredibly magnificent and powerful, so obviously cares about my relationship with my daughter. In the same moment that He dealt with world powers and stars and universal affairs, He also thought it a priority to heal a relationship between two individuals.
Amazing! I shook my head at the wonder of it.
We sang the “Gloria” next, the beautiful song we sing many Sundays that honors the Father and the Son and then ends with the unity of the three-in-one. As we sang, “Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father,” awe of the Trinity washed over me anew. THIS is why God cares about the harmony not only of the vast universe but also of our families. The Trinity is why God cares about each and every relationship we have. This is why He longs for unity in the Church and peace on earth.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (the Book of Common Prayer, “For the Human Family”)