A Father’s Whistle

My husband has magical powers. When our kids were young, Doug whistled, and our children magically appeared. No matter what they were doing or who they were with, when they heard that whistle, they came running. They knew their dad’s whistle. They ignored other whistles, but not his. Even now, with the boys all grown up with their own children, I’d be willing to bet, if their dad whistled, the boys would at least turn their heads toward him.

I’m not sure how it started. But having three boys, I imagine Doug whistled to get their attention because they were doing something they shouldn’t. But it was most often used when we were out somewhere, like the Little League fields, and the boys were scattered all over. One whistle, and our family was reunited and ready to go in a matter of seconds.

I can’t whistle. I mean, I can whistle a little bit, but it’s mostly air with a slight melodic sound to it. I sound like Wheezy from Toy Story—the little plastic penguin with a worn-out squeaker. My husband’s whistle is not weak or squeaky. It’s ear piercing, and he does it effortlessly. He has done it automatically, without warning, if he saw that one of the boys needed immediate attention. If I happened to be standing close to him in those moments, my ears would ring for a while. Maybe that explains my poor hearing now, hmm.

My husband hasn’t needed to use his whistle in a very long time. It’s not that he doesn’t whistle at all. His child-calling whistle isn’t the only whistle he has. He can imitate almost any bird. He’s had long conversations with a number of birds. I don’t know what he’s saying to them, but I’m pretty sure he invited one of them to move in with us. It built its nest in our dryer exhaust, which required it to enter the outside vent and make two 90-degree turns to get to the dryer. Doug needs to stop whistling to birds.

As I was doing my daily Bible reading one day, I came across a verse that reminded me of those days when Doug would call the boys with his whistle. God said, “I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.” (Zechariah 10:8 ESV) How cool is that? God, our Abba Father, will call us in with a whistle. This portion of Zechariah is a prophecy of the end times. I wonder if that trumpet blast we wait anxiously to hear is God whistling for us. I know how loud my husband’s whistle can be, so I’m sure God’s whistle could be a trumpet blast that will be heard to the ends of the earth. I don’t know about you, but when my Abba, Father, whistles, I plan to drop everything and run to Him. Finally, it will be time to go home, to be gathered in together with all my brothers and sisters to be united with our Father. Our brother, Jesus, promises He will come soon to gather us up with Him. I’ll be watching the clouds, praying He comes quickly, and listening for that unmistakable whistle.

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