At War with the Mangroves

“Dad, what day is it?” She asked. Her question seemed out of place. I was focused on our little fishing adventure around the bay which hadn’t exactly gone so well. I had wanted to take her out in the little motor boat and let her have a fishing experience of her own. Admittedly I had spent a good portion of that spring break out fishing on the gulf without the kids.

I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to make emotional connections with my youngest. It hasn’t always been easy. The unseen scars of her early years have left their residue in the quarters where her emotions reside. It’s only natural for adopted children, for any of us really, to leave certain doors closed when there’s been an emotional wound. Her doors, we’ve discovered, are closed, not locked, simply closed.

This particular effort to build closeness seemed like a failure. My attention rotated between snagged lines on Mangrove roots and a stubborn outboard motor. By all accounts this bonding opportunity seemed a bust.

Finally giving up on the war with the mangroves, we left the quiet coves, the fisherman’s honey holes, and headed for more open water. I gave instructions for her to put her line over the side and we proceeded to troll around the bay. After my apology for the poor fishing and my minced oaths there was mostly silence except for the hum of the motor and an occasional exchange of words.

Then there was that question, “Dad, what day is it?” Suspecting her 2nd grade mind was grieving our impending return, I replied “It’s Friday, tomorrow’s the day we leave.” “No Dad, what day is it?” she pressed. “You mean what date is it?” I inquired. I could tell the wheels were turning.

“Yes! What’s the number?” She returned. I wondered what this could possibly be about and responded, “It’s the 21st, March 21st. Why?”

After a short pause she blurted out, “I think we should make every March 21st daddy-daughter day and do something special together.” At that moment I knew it was worth it. The war with the Mangroves, the heat of the southern sun and that stubborn outboard all seemed to pale in comparison to the connection we made.

God is persistent with us too, even more faithful and persistent than we realize. He’s there in the snags and in the heat of every frustrating moment.
Won’t you thank God today for His faithful love?

Psalm 100:5 (NIV)
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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