PROXY…is a noun with several but similar meanings. One I like is ‘the agency, function, or power of a person authorized to act as the deputy or substitute for another’. The word ‘substitute’ stands out to me. Another is ‘an ally or confederate who can be relied upon to speak or act in one’s behalf’.
Some of the more reflective synonyms are: ambassador, envoy, emissary, mediary, representative or stand-in. Many of us have been asked at some time to cast a vote by proxy for someone who would be absent from a meeting. You have been given the authority to do just that. They consider you reliable to not change it for whatever reason.
At the last Fathers Forum in Dallas, Craig Callon, our speaker, gave a strong message entitled; Our Father who art in Heaven. Among many other great points, he struck a chord with me when he said this. We dads are the ‘visible proxy’ for God. We stand in for him. What a great image.
Jesus said to Philip; “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘show us the Father’” (Jn. 14.9b)? Jesus was saying, as did Craig point out, I am my Father’s ‘visible proxy’. His Stand-in! I like to say Jesus was the ‘spitting image’ of his Father. And if you are a father, you are displaying some image to your children of the Heavenly Father. Scary, huh? Hopefully not!
But it is true, especially for young children trying to form a picture in their minds of God. What is he like? What are his attributes? Is he just big and scary? Dads, that can be very frightening to them, especially if you are not reflecting his image well. When I was a young child going to a Baptist Church, hearing the preacher talking about hellfire and damnation, you can imagine the image I was carrying around in my head. It was so bad that when I went to bed at night, especially Sunday night, I knew there was one of three things that would be under my bed and would get me—the devil, the boogey man or God. Honest! Crazy; I know.
In the Old Testament, I found 2185 references to father, but only a few referring to God, but they are there, especially as it relates to Israel. He is named Everlasting Father in Isaiah. Jesus clearly introduced the Creator God as Father. In Islam, it is irreverent to call Allah, father. It is unique to Christianity. Paul, in Galatians, shows us how very intimate our relationship can be with God. ‘And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father”’ (vs. 4.6). Translated, Abba means Daddy.
How are your children seeing God through you? What will they say at your funeral? Hopefully, it will sound similar to this. “My dad was a reflection of God, and he showed me just how much God loved me by what he did and taught me.” Dads, you, more than anyone else in your children’s lives, have the awesome privilege and responsibility of representing the Father before them; to be his ‘stand-in’.
Spend time daily with your Heavenly Father, in the word and prayer, and doubtless you will come away reflecting more and more of his attributes. Let your children see the Christ, the heavenly Father, in you. Create a divine hunger and thirst in them to know and follow the same God you worship.
Be that living proxy! Make your vote count, now and for eternity!!