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It was Mary’s birthday the other day, but Mary was anything but happy. It seems that she was promised by her dad he would be present for her birthday. She hadn’t seen him in a little while, and she was so looking forward to see him. Mary was even told by her dad the day before that he would be there for her birthday, and he had good intentions of being there. The day came, however, and he never showed. Sadly, Mary did not know why. For all that she knew, her dad could have been in trouble and, if she knew, she would run to help.

Dad was too embarrassed to tell Mary that he would not show; he just hoped she understood. But, she didn’t understand. All that she really did understand what that dad’s good intentions (so he wanted her to believe) fell far short of actual accomplishments. Once again, Mary was saddened and went to bed crying that her dad thought so little of her to not even show up for such an important day to his little girl.

This metaphor illustrates what a parent does who does not love. If dad really loved Mary he would have been there because he promised her he would. If a no-show was unavoidable, he would called and let her know why he could not. In any case, all she knew what he did not show up. It is likely that her dad would have strongly and vigorously disputed anyone who said he did not love his little girl. Mary was home crying because, once again, she did not see her dad when he promised to be there.

Those who love the Lord will be where they promised the Lord they would be, doing what they promised to do. Those who “forget” both will strongly and vigorously dispute anyone who said he (she) did not love the Lord. On Sunday, there sits, still, an empty pew.