I’m a lot of things, but I’m foremost my Father’s son.
To be His son, I don’t have to manipulate or perform for affection. All I have to do is receive it with open arms like His other son does, Immanuel, my older and wiser brother. That guy knows how to love and how to receive it. Father gave Him everything, all that He owned. I used to wonder if there were any blessings left for me. To my surprise, there was.
Immanuel might be Father’s only begotten son, but I’m His adopted one. Without reservation, Father loves us both fiercely. No favoritism. I admit I’m not as good as my brother, but that doesn’t affect Father. He loves me as if I was Immanuel.
He and Father spend time together—working, playing, eating, resting. They have these inside jokes that I don’t quite understand. It’s like they’re best friends. The difference between them and other best friends I’ve observed is that they don’t leave me out. I don’t have to watch from a distance as Father dotes on Immanuel, or as Immanuel parties with Father. They always invite me into their relationship. Can you believe it? Me—the awkward kid who acts like a fool most of the time.
It feels strange when they show me so much love. I’m used to fending for myself. Life was hard, and I did some messed up things to survive. They act like none of that stuff matters, as if I had always been a part of their culture of celebration. It’s not like they minimize my feelings or pretend my past never happened. They just don’t make an issue out of it. I’m part of the family, not some outsider.
Sometimes, I’ll rage against them and treat them as my enemies. I’ll curse them and walk away in a tantrum. There is an assumption inside of me that if I keep acting selfishly, then they’ll finally kick me out. So, I reject them before they can reject me.
Even when I shake my fist and yell in their faces though, they show their love. With fiery eyes, they stare into my soul and tell me everything’s going to be okay. Then they wrap their arms around me in a bear hug. And did I still you how strong they are? It can get pretty suffocating. The brutish squeezing and constant positivity used to make me more angry. Now, it makes me chuckle.
Today marks a new day for me. The revelation of belonging to Father is hitting me in new way. I’m still a little awkward and my foolishness rears its ugly head from time to time, but I know I’m loved. In return, love is part of my new DNA.
I hug Father and Immanuel back when they grab me. I dance at the private parties they throw for their friends. When they have a project they’re working on, I get to help them. We’re close. I mean, really close. Some might say we’re one entity. I just say we’re family. It’s not what I do, but who I am.
I’m my Father’s son, and there’s nothing I’d rather be.