As a single mom I worked long hours and still struggled financially. Even so, I pulled together my pennies to buy the ingredients for a nice meal for my parents on Father’s Day. Always watching, my three and four year olds took note of this act of honoring my Dad on his special day. Their father had taken off the year before without further communication. The love they received from my Dad was the pure, unconditional love I grew up with. His grandfatherly compassion for them was the best example that I could ever hope for.
The morning after our celebratory dinner with my parents, I was awakened by the most cherished sight.
These two precious preschoolers brought breakfast to me in my bed. Because we had very little food in the house, they improvised with what they could find. On a carefully balanced tray, they brought to me what turned out to be a feast for my soul.
In the early morning, they had quietly sneaked around in the kitchen, careful to not wake me up. They discovered, shoved to the back of the refrigerator, a small bag containing one dried-out hot dog bun. First they split the bun, covered both halves of it with peanut butter, and then they put it into the toaster! (God obviously had His hand on them!)
So my breakfast in bed was a little glass of water and two melty peanut butter toasts. With wide smiles that radiated from their little faces, they proudly presented it to me proclaiming, “Mommy, you’re the best Daddy we’ve ever had! Happy Father’s Day!” Full of happy giggles, they crawled into my bed and cuddled with me as we all shared my breakfast.
While it hurt my heart to think that me, a hurried, broke and often-impatient single mother, was the “best daddy (they’d) ever had,” I was blessed that somehow, even in the midst of my over-crowded schedule and tearful checkbook balancing, they had received the love that Jesus poured into me; the love that kept me sane. Like liquid flowing out of a broken vessel, God’s love freely poured out of my brokenness, even when I wasn’t paying attention. We were all the blessed recipients of His infinite love.
That Father’s Day as a single mom served breakfast is one of the most extraordinary gifts I’ve ever received. I gladly went to work a little late that day, with a huge smile on my face.