Daddy, Can I Talk to You?
“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” (1 John 5:14-15)
Children are a trove of wisdom. They are in the process of learning about the world. They don’t have pre-formed ideas about things, and the understanding they do develop is a product of experience—and sometimes their own hearts and imaginations. This is shown most often, at least in our house, in the things our children say. Because our children often persistently interrupt conversation between mom and dad, or when we are speaking with others, we have developed a system for them to be respectful of others’ conversations. Before just blurting out what they wish to say, they need to come to us, gently tap on an elbow or shoulder and wait to be recognized before speaking. Then, when mom or dad is done with a thought and ready to listen, we then turn our attention to them. We have taught our kids to start with what they need, “Mommy, I need to go potty”, or, “Daddy, can you help me get a drink.” This simple process of requesting our attention, us granting that attention, and them stating their need has helped to teach respect and to lessen our distracted answers to them.
One request they have been taught to state is, “Daddy, can I talk to you?” This usually has to do with some issue they have experienced, or problem with a sibling, but sometimes they just want to have a conversation with us. They showed respect in requesting it, waited to be acknowledged, and then just wanted to chat. Daddy, can I talk to you?
I’ll admit, sometimes this little request can get bothersome. If I’m trying to have a conversation and I keep being interrupted by, “Daddy, can I talk to you?” Often, it’s just something they want to tell, some joy they experienced and want to share with me. I sometimes respond impatiently— “Yes, what do you need?” I often rush them through, so I can return to my task or conversation. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to complete what you are doing, but the Lord has impressed on me a deeper truth in those precious interruptions—my children want to talk to me. They follow the process of respect I have taught them—they have requested my ear. Even when I’m busy, giving them that ear communicates to them that I value what they have to say, that I am interested in what they have to share. This is important in a parental way, but it made me consider something else: do I have to do the same with my Father?
I was struck this past week when I heard that question, “Daddy, can I talk to you?” I approach God with respect, yes, but do I have to request His attention in my prayers? Like my son, coming to me and asking that I give him my attention, do I have to request an audience from the Creator? The answer, of course, is that I do not, but in considering those questions, and those of my children to me, I was struck by that simple truth—I do not have to wait! Our God is busy, yes. He is at work, orchestrating the cosmos. But, though He is busy, I have His ear! He jealously attends to my pleas; He actively wants to share in my experiences, for good or for ill. He is there, expectantly listening.
What an awesome truth! The God of Heaven, who sits on the throne with angels singing day and night, lightning flashing, thunder clapping—quietly attends to me. Oh, what a gift I have been given to have the ear of the King! I do not have to request an audience, I do not have to wait to be acknowledged—He has promised that He is there, listening to me. It is a precious thing that we do not have to wonder if He hears us. A gift beyond words we need not follow some prescribed ritual to garner His attention. No, He is there, eagerly anticipating our conversation.
I would encourage you today, take advantage of this gift. The God of the Universe hears you. He wants you to talk with Him, to tell Him about your day, to seek Him for your needs, to ask Him for guidance. He is not far off, where you need to get His attention. He is near. You don’t need to ask, “Daddy, can I talk with you?” He is already listening. Celebrate that wonderful truth, right now, this week, by daily taking time to talk with Him. He is waiting to hear from you.