A Father’s Optimism

Love covers a multitude of sins…~1 Peter 4:8

Joining the ranks of thousands of parents last weekend, my husband and I moved our oldest son into an apartment on his college campus.  As we tentatively hand over the reins of his life to many unknowns that include new roommates, liberal professors, and the secular world at large, I am made completely aware of how my heavenly Father continues to do the same thing for me, on a daily basis. 

We've had our chance to plant seeds and lay the foundation for our son that we believe, despite the teenage years and other miscellaneous setbacks along the way, will bear fruit.  I witnessed this sanguinity firsthand when my husband and son went shopping for my son's initial apartment supplies.  With his freshman year under our collective belt, we somehow believe that this will be the year that our son will choose to vacuum, wash dishes, and tend to his own laundry needs.  Of course, last year's vacuum never made it home for the summer as it was loaned out, fairly early in the school year, never to be returned again.  And even though the few dishes used in his dorm came home crusted with a variety of unknown pathogens which simply caused us to throw them away instead of washing them, we are sure this year will be different!  This great optimism was witnessed by the purchases made during the father/son shopping trip. 

I came home from a meeting to find our hallway lined with large containers of laundry soap, dish soap, and cleaning products. 

"What's all this?" I asked my husband.

"Stuff for Jared's apartment," he confidently answered.

"That tall boy with brown hair and brown eyes?  The one upstairs playing computer games?" I inquired.

"Yep!" came my husband's zealous response.

 I smiled and nodded my head, caught up in my husband's hopefulness.  Really, there was no reason to believe that Jared wouldn't use these products.  Despite the occasional lapse in my cleaning routine, I run a fairly tight ship.  Jared has grown up in a home that has provided love, comfort, support, and discipline.  He has a more than adequate amount of modeled behavior, morals, and values from which to draw upon as he moves ever more independently into the world.  But will he follow our ways?  Will he mimic what we have shown in words and in deeds?  Will he wash his clothes and clean his bathroom sink?

As I cooked dinner later that day, I was caught up in the realization of how much my own heavenly Father must feel the same way about me.  He's taught me well and provided me with a wealth of people and events from which to learn.  He has given me free will and mercy beyond compare.  In His great love for me, I've been chastised and protected.  I've been given crosses to bear and graces with which to bear them.  And as I step out into the world, each and every day, I am comforted by the knowledge that the Father's great love covers me, just as my great love covers my own children.  It is a wise love, knowing that good decisions will be made along with the not-so-good decisions.  It is a compassionate love that offers hope, forgiveness, and shelter while encouraging perseverance and diligence in the pursuit of things that truly matter.  It is the love that covers a multitude of sins and has a breadth and depth beyond human understanding. 

May all our sons and daughters, as they begin their school year, know that their heavenly Father loves them beyond their wildest imaginings.

Cheryl Dickow


Cheryl Dickow is a Catholic wife, mother, author and speaker. Cheryl’s newest book is Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Womenwhich is co-authored with Teresa Tomeo and is published by Servant (a division of Franciscan Media); there is also a companion journal that accompanies the book and an audio version intended for women’s studies or for individual reflection. Cheryl’s titles also include the woman’s inspirational fiction book Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage. Elizabeth is available in paperback or Kindle format. Her company is Bezalel Books where her goal is to publish great Catholic books for families and classrooms that entertain while uplifting the Catholic faith and is located at www.BezalelBooks.com. To invite Cheryl to speak at your event, write her at Cheryl@BezalelBooks.com.

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