A father packs a suitcase.
He tells me this story:
The kids aren’t coming home for Christmas this year.
He’s not mad.
but not mad.
He misses his kids,
this much is obvious.
We used to talk a lot. Actually, we used to be inseparable, you know? They hung on every word I said. Ran home every chance they could. Asked my advice, ate at the family table, counted on me. But times change and, well, you know how it goes. Kids want to explore, right? They challenge the truth they grew up with. They started believing I didn’t understand them anymore, said times were different now, said they wanted their freedom. We talked less and less in those later years until, finally, they stopped coming home at all.
I see them, hear them wandering around life… struggling through. I hate that we aren’t together anymore.
“But you still love them,” I say.
Oh, I do! Absolutely. I still love them. I could never not love them. I hate being away from them. I hate not talking. I hate not being involved in their lives, comforting them when they hurt and celebrating when they’re thrilled. I miss the early days of watching them discover life. I absolutely love them, without a doubt.
And so, in order to show them that I love them… that nothing can change that I love them, that my heart’s desire is to know them and be known by them, that I want a relationship at all costs…
this year I’m going to THEM for Christmas.
He is smiling now.
The biggest smile
you can imagine.
I’m going to surprise them. If they won’t come to me, then I will go to them. I will get low. I will serve.I will be last. I’ll go where they are. I’ll find them where they are. If they can’t or won’t come home, I’ll go to them. It’s a long trip, and I think it may be uncomfortable. But, I’m going.
Because I love them.
I think He’s amazing.
And, maybe a little stubborn.
But certainly determined…
as one is when in unconditional love.
Do you see what I see?
This is Christmas…
the celebration of God coming to us to make peace. The thrill of hope: knowing we are not lost but, in fact, found. That we are missed and loved and sought. That we walked away and He came after us.
With an infant’s cry on a not-so silent night, Jesus started a war for peace- a war against sin. It is the middle of a story that started in a garden and ends on a cross… with an epilogue we truly cannot grasp.
We are no longer lost,
for He has come down to us.
We have a savior;
we have a savior.
Merry Christmas, friends.
• inspired by a stunning monologue
at the 2014 BHBC candlelight service