As a father pities his children,
so the LORD pities those who fear him.
It is notable that Scripture puts the image of “father” and “pity” together. Normally, we associate “pity” with squishier members of the family: our sweet old granny who kisses the scratch and makes it better; or our mom, who pities us so beautifully when we are sick or lonely or frightened of the doctor. But Scripture says God pities us like a father pities his children. How does a father pity his children? Often with much less outward tenderness, but with a determination to see to it that we really make it through to happiness. A father’s heart breaks at his child’s suffering as much as a mother’s. But fathers push us on to keep going in the face of adversity. Mothers are more inclined to say “Here. Take a break. Have some ice cream. There…. Feeling better?” Both kinds of love are necessary to us. That is why Father God gives us Mother Mary. And that is why Mother Mary keeps pointing us back to Father God. Their pity is given, not to make us pitiful, but to make us endlessly happy, strong, and free in Christ.