When I was a kid, my Mom would meet my sister and I at the bus stop after our first day of school. She was always armed with a video camera and tons of excited questions about our new teachers and classmates. I secretly loved it. My older sister Jen, on the other hand, continually informed me of just how uncool it was to be greeted by your Mom at the bus stop. So, we put up with it for a few years until that fateful first day of second grade when Jen’s persuasion caused me to walk right past Mom when we got off the bus, ignoring her enthusiasm and attempts at getting us to crack a smile. The moments captured on video are pretty terrible. Two sweetly dressed brunettes blazing by with crisp back packs and colorful lunch boxes, “boldly” taking a stand. To this day, we both feel bad about that one. However, that instance didn’t stop Mom the next year and the year after that and the year after that. It is a tradition born out of love, that we ultimately grew to love, and one that we’ll both undoubtedly continue with our children.
So, it was with great delight that I saw a story of a Utah man and his son on the news last night. Dale Price spent every morning of this past school year waving goodbye to his 16 year-old-son Rain as he got on the school bus. Of course, that’s not so embarrassing, but that’s because that’s only half of the story. Yes, each morning Dale waved goodbye to Rain from the front porch, but each morning the bus full of Rain’s teenage schoolmates was met with a different costumed Dale. We’re talking mermaid, Elvis, bride and superhero costumes here. Each one different all 170 days, each one worn in an effort to send his son to school with a smile.
I love this story not simply because it testifies to the fun relationship Dale and Rain have, but because of the bigger picture. This father-son relationship paints a picture of dedication, love and admiration. Rain, although admittedly embarrassed on occasion, will never question his father’s interest in his life. He will never wonder if his father is going to be there for him. To me, Dale is a shining example of solid parenting, but beyond that, his actions are a reflection of what God, our heavenly Father, desires for our lives. He wants us to know that no task, no matter how seemingly silly, is insignificant in showing us His love. No task, despite requiring constant effort, will deter Him from engaging in an intimate relationship with us. He loves us day in and day out and will go to great lengths (perhaps even dressing up in a silly costume?) to show us this mighty, unconditional love.
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”