I love it when my dad cooks for me. I used to live just minutes from my parents and could enjoy Dad’s cooking frequently, but God’s design for my missionary career now means I live 900 miles away. On a recent trip “back home” to see my family, I stayed with my folks and my dad made me waffles for dinner. The happiness that took over in me as I watched him mix batter, supervise the waffle iron, and prepare bacon and eggs to nestle next to the syrupy goodness that would soon be on my plate, made me reflect on why I sometimes long for him to do this very thing when I am three states away in my own home, feeling homesick. I knew that just a few days later when I was up north in my own kitchen, I would soon feel this longing for him to cook again.
What is it about his cooking for me? About his asking me what I want for dinner, pestering me until I tell him what I am really hungry for? Why was an aching space in me touched to watch him whisk ingredients together and listen to him tell me to clear my work from the table so he could set it with all we would need for a very tasty, but not exceptionally elegant, meal?
I realized that what I get homesick for is my dad’s delight in doing this. He can’t make it fast enough or yummy enough for me. And it’s not because I am selfish or greedy. He just loves to give and I love to receive his delight. I have years of experience and reassurance that my dad knows I don’t need him to cook for me, but that he thoroughly enjoys doing this for me. I have learned to anticipate this act of love and relax in it, offering gently to help but not needing to intervene in his activity and show over and again that I can do it and he need not be bothered.
I wish I would do this more often with God. Sit in his kitchen, let him tend to me, relax in his delighted love and care. Trust that he is pleased to be with me and have me receive his love. Honestly, I spend a significant amount of time telling God how to make “waffles”, rushing in and grabbing the whisk and ingredients, trying to prove my gratitude to him and that he needn’t be bothered about tending to me, as I know he has much bigger and more important things to do. I don’t sit at rest, trusting that he will let me know when to clear the table or do the dishes or crack the eggs, or simply do nothing but bask in his delight. I forget to gently ask and talk with him about what he has for me in the each moment because I am busy rushing to act in hopes that he is not regretful of letting me into his Kingdom or remorseful that he saved such a slovenly servant. I try to earn my keep rather than be his daughter. I try to fill the ache in my own heart, rather than telling God what I am really hungry for and letting him provide precisely from his never-exhausted cupboards.
Thankfully, God is also never exhausted of inviting me to sit once again, rest and wait in his presence, and practice my faith, my active trust, that though there are good works he has prepared for me to do, I am first to fill myself with his delight and love in me as a daughter. God is always making waffles for me.