Life is full of opportunities to get hurt. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off is the blind mentality of too many. Our culture is one of strength. This strength endures for a little while and is soon followed by the realization that one cannot do anything alone. We are creatures designed for interdependence. God created everything and before He created man, He said that everything was good. Once He created man, He said that loneliness was not good…..So why do we pursue independence as though it were the one thing that our survival depends on? Should we have to wait until something becomes unbearable before we reach out to our brothers and sisters for help?
I would liken our independence to a man standing outside a door. On the inside of the door waits a warm loving Father who wants to enjoy anyone’s company who should enter. The Father is full of joy and compassion. He is such a good Father. His heart is so tender. The man on the outside stands and begs waiting to come in. He bangs passionately and cries desperately for the Father to let him in. Why can he not enter? Is the Father not willing to let him in? Of course, but the man is too afraid to enter. The man is unaware that the door is not locked. It has not occurred to him that he has full access to such sweet intimacy with the Father. But the man partially counts himself unworthy to enter. He has not realized that he is not just a man. He belongs to the Father.
At hearing the man, the Father’s heart is stirred. He stands up from his table where he was once seated, coffee in hand at the fireplace, and he prepares himself to welcome the man into his home. Before the Father lets the man enter, he asks him what his name is. The man falls to his knees. He cannot answer. He does not know who he is. He has not the strength to remember. He has been too battered by life, and what strength he has is only enough to stand outside the Father’s house and knock, and knock, and knock.
The Father opens his door to this man who seems not to be able to answer him. He says to the man “Stand Up”. He hands the man his coffee. While the man is taking a sip of his almost too hot to drink coffee, the Father says to the man “I never left you boy.” The Father swings the door open even wider, “Come in boy, have seat at the table.” The boys sits down and the Father makes his way to the table. He begins telling the man of how his heart hurt while he was gone. He says to him, “You took the way you thought you had to go, but I never wanted you to leave. I never wanted you to leave, and even though you left I was always with you. And boy, I will always be with you. Nothing can separate me from you. I am your Father and you are my son, and I will never let anything get in the way of my love for you.”