Jenny is the Regional Coordinator of the Celebrate Family Conferences that take place throughout England and Wales
Hearing the Father laugh...
I have just finished a book by James Jordan, a New Zealander whose teaching I find beautifully simple yet extremely difficult all at the same time! In essence his message is about knowing the love of the Father and that to enable us to go deeper into that love we also need to learn to become a daughter/son.
Being a 21st Century woman of God means being a daughter first and foremost, not strong and independent but weak and childlike, happy to admit we need help and that we can’t do it alone. This knowledge of God’s grace is actually no different in this Century to any other.
Obviously the challenges we face in this day and age will mean we have to ask ourselves how do we respond to the technological pace and cultural challenges that are put in front of us. However, if the relationship with God our Father is to be at the core of our being our womanhood has to have its foundation in learning to be his daughter.
Over the Christmas holidays both our grown up daughters have been at home with us and it has been a relaxed, chilled out, eating, drinking, game-playing time. We are not great TV watchers but we all like to curl up in front of the fire with red wine and chocolate and watch a good film. Often this means going through the entire collection of the old DVD’s to decide what we are going to watch as the essential requirement for a chosen film is one that will make Daddy laugh! My husband is not someone who laughs out loud at everything and anything so a film that tickles him (usually a Pixar film like Toy Story) is the one that’s chosen. Why? Well, they just love to hear their father laugh! This then makes them laugh and the film can become immaterial as it’s their fathers reaction that causes the enjoyment.
Having reflected on this simplest of things, I thought how wonderful it would be if my desire in life would be to long to hear my Father in heaven laugh. I started to imagine what this would be like. I believe his laughter is a rich, round, warm colourful sound, full of width, height and depth; it comes from a deep down place that when heard feels like an embrace that wraps you up and takes you to the safest of havens. It is the MOST joyful of noises; infectious and causes delight to spill into every atom of your being so that all disappointment and hurt melt away.
Imagine how contagious this laughter is, it can shape and change us until it becomes our priority in life just to hear the Father laugh. We begin to recognise He is not looking for us to prove ourselves, to work at conversation, to make a name for ourselves; he just wants us to know his pleasure. Laughing with the Father will make us more like daughters because laughing, really laughing, disarms us; it makes us vulnerable; it reveals who we truly are.
Often when I REALLY laugh I lose control, I can’t speak, tears stream, I snort and gasp, I hold on to my tummy and roll around and I feel exhausted when it finishes. What would worshiping God look like if we spent our time listening to hear Him laugh and catching the vastness of His joy and knowing this joy comes from the fact we are listening for his laughter – a great circle of delight!
Jesus knew what it was to be caught in this circle. He is the Fathers child and the Father loved him. At the river Jordan when he was baptised the Father spoke over him ‘This is my beloved son in whom I delight’ I bet the Father was laughing all the way from heaven and back!
For me and for all of us I pray as women in this world which is so often sad we can capture the sound of the Fathers laughter which delights in us just being His daughters.