Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Love’s Welcome

   It’s really quite a contrast. He had fairly skipped away, so eager was he to leave. Now, home he comes…all weak, worn, and weary. For him it had required the far country to reveal the wonders of home. He had to look through the lenses of deep destitution to see what truly mattered. All he had left at that point was the memory of home. So, home he goes. He took with him carefully chosen words. He would not ask for too much. He knew exactly what he deserved. It would be, he knew, the height of mercy, to simply be allowed quarter with the hired hands.

   Imagine his amazement when after the long journey he looks up and sees his father, having hiked up his robe, running to him. After many kisses and much embracing, he begins his speech, “Father, I have sinned…I’m not worthy to be called your son.” That’s all he got out. The rest of his speech was interrupted by the welcome home celebration of his father’s love.

   Can you believe it? The same sort of welcome awaits all of us sinners who come home to our longsuffering Father God? It’s true!

   Ian Maclaren tells a similar sounding story like this. It seems Flora was a prodigal daughter, coming home. Arriving at the door she didn’t have the strength to knock. She could hear her father inside feeling for the latch, and saying nothing but, “Flora, Flora.” She too had her speech, but all she got out was, “Father,” for her father, who had never even kissed her all the days of her youth, held her closely and sobbed out blessings over her head. When Flora later told her friend Margaret about her welcome home, she said that in the Gaelic there are fifty words for ‘darling,’ and that her father called her by every one of them the night she came home.

   In the creation of this world, in the unfolding of history and the amazing scheme of redemption that came to its fulness in the life, cross and crown of Jesus Christ, our Father has been busy loving us all the way home. He interrupts our long-rehearsed speech of reasons why we are unworthy of His love and forgiveness in order to hug and kiss us and to get the party started. Now then, what is it that keeps you from Home and from such a Father as awaits you?

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4 thoughts on “Love’s Welcome

  1. I thank Him for interrupting me … because my speech is not that great. At one time it was full of excuses … then it became full of blame. Eventually, it became one of admission and sorrow. This final speech is the one that actually brought me to a place that moved me to return home. The speeches before were rehearsed in the pig pen and were not speeches born of humility and true regret. When that moment of clarity happened … and I realized there was no one to blame but me … and no excuse whatsoever … then I headed towards the Father.

    Thankfully He made it safe for me to come home. He made me feel that I was truly wanted. He reminded me that beneath the mud and the stench … I was still His child. I had always been His child … and He had never stopped looking for me.

    I still wander off, and I still have to bow my head and come back home … but thankfully I haven’t been in the pigpen in a long time … and my travels away from the Father are short. My safe place is with Him and I don’t want to take my eyes off of Him.

  2. oakesclan on said:

    There’s no place like home, is there, Paige? In this world, whether we are alone or surrounded by those who love us, there remains within our hearts the sense of absence…the yearning…for the only One Who is able to fill our hearts completely…put us perfectly at ease forever…satisfy all our longing, even that which we are unable to verbalize…the One without Whom we are forever lost, but in Whose presence we will forever find delight and wonder and holiness. One of these days…closer now than when we first believed. God bless you.

  3. Email Girl on said:

    I’ve read this several times over since you posted it. I can’t get your story of Flora out of my head…I’ve thought about it so many times. I could be Flora. Repentent, rehearsed, reverant, ready. I can picture me knocking on the door of my Father…desperate for Him to accept me…hoping He will even want to see me. Will He open the door? Will He see its me and turn around and walk away? I knock because I have to know…I knock because I need him to know I’m sorry…I knock because I want to be near him, I need to feel safe. I hear Him on the other side, my heart races in anticipation and fear. Will he accept me? Will he still love me? Before He gets the door open I try to explain…I try to tell Him…I’m ready to give Him my excuses for my behaviour…but the only thing I can speak is His name…Father. Its all I can squeeze out. I hear Him speaking my name and relief rushes over me…He does still want me, He does still love me. I feel so undeserving and yet desperately grateful at the same time. To be rejected now would be the final destruction of me. He loves me, He holds me, my rehearsed words are not important right now…He knows my heart and He knows how much I need Him and that is enough for Him to welcome me home…back into His fold. Thank God that is enough.

  4. oakesclan on said:

    It truly is enough, Email Girl. Believe it. Accept it deep down inside you. To our Father God, you ARE Flora. He doesn’t stand and wait with folded arms and look down His nose at us while we struggle along homeword in our overwhelming guilt and grief. No! His Father-heart cannot wait…cannot stay…it must run in our direction! Praise His mighty Name!
    It’s enough, isn’t it? To know this about our Father God. It’s enough to start us and keep us on our homeward journey. It’s enough to make us love Him for a lifetime…and for an eternity. It’s enough to keep us home with Him, now that we know…He thinks we belong here…He keeps a place for us with Him…He wants us with Him. Surely this is enough! God help us.

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