My one year old granddaughter raised herself to a standing position in her crib and uttered the sweetest two syllables a father could hear, “Da-Da!”
“What did you say?”
“Da-Da!” she repeated, this time maybe a bit annoyed that no one was rushing to pick her up, remove her zippy nightwear, and start her day.
“Da-Da is coming!”
This moment was captured on video by my daughter in law who sent it to the family. And I, Grandma Mimi, have replayed it over and over, delighting in this recognition of Da-Da, who just happens to be my son!
At about my twentieth rewatching, I started to reflect on what the Bible says about our heavenly Father and his invitation to call Him, “Abba Father”. According to dictionary.com, the word, Abba, refers to, “An Aramaic word for father, used by Jesus and Paul to address God in a relation of personal intimacy.”
In essence, we are invited to call God “Daddy” – or as I now prefer, “Da-Da”.
The New International Version Bible blog site underscores the tenderness this word evokes. “Abba, a colloquial form of address used by little Jewish children toward their fathers and best translated “Papa” or “Daddy,” opened the possibility of undreamed-of, unheard-of intimacy with God. In any other great world religion it is unthinkable to address almighty God as “Abba.”
Calling God in this intimate manner reminds me that Jesus said we must become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. When the disciples asked him, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called over a small child and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
So let us take after my grand baby. As we find ourselves in this proverbial crib, confined by a zippy, facing unrest, isolation, uncertainty, and division, let us lift our arms high and call on Da-Da. His arms are strong and His ability to bring peace unmatched.
And when we do so, I picture God’s joy akin to my son’s upon hearing those two simple syllables of dependence, trust, and recognition.
Picture courtesy of http://clipart-library.com/clipart/n2017540.htm