December 20, 2021

“He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 GNT

I must tell you about one of the best feelings in the world. I returned from the office one afternoon last week, to find our 4-yr-old granddaughter, Marie-Hélène and her dad playing on the back deck. I slipped through the sliding glass door to surprise them. As soon as she saw me, she broke into the biggest smile, exclaimed, “Nana” and came running at me, arms wide open for a hug. You better believe I had my armed spread wide to embrace her!I’ve experienced this miracle of love with all four of our grandchildren, and treasure each of those moments. The behavior becomes more restrained as they become teens!

It always makes me think of the parable of the Prodigal in Luke 15. One of the father’s two sons takes all his inheritance and travels to a foreign land, where he squanders it away. When a famine hits that country he is forced to feed pigs, who eat better than he does. He comes to his senses and returns home. His father has been standing on the front porch every day, longing for his son’s return. When he spies the son a long way off, the father runs to the son and embraces him.

I love that story, and the notion of the very proper man throwing all caution and mature behaviors to the wind to run to his son. And there is the theological catch. The father runs, not the son, who is ashamed. I am so grateful for the innocence and faith of a child. Marie-Hélène runs to me, no holds barred, in love and acceptance, a little witness to the unbridled love of God.

Running God, I open my arms to receive you today! ~ Anne

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