Could it be that you come with a tender word, even for the likes of me, long steeped in the economy of law and merits of righteousness?
How many times have I stood out on the back step, all too aware of my failings, waiting for my “time out” to be over, when all the time you are waiting for me inside?
How many times have I stared at my own stumbling feet, fearing your furrowed brow of disapproval, when I could have looked straight into your eyes and seen mercy reflected?
How many times have I tried to earn my way, prove my worth, and pass the test? You gave me a playground, and I made an obstacle course. You gave me grace and I rationed it so I would have enough for the next mistake. You gave me a home and I tried my best to be the perfect housekeeper.
But, oh, I don’t have enough rugs to sweep the crumbs under, and I live like Cinderella in the ashes when you are kneeling before me with a basin to wash my feet. Why is it so hard to put down the broom, the score card, the record of my wrongs?
You give love, and I need empty hands to receive it. If it were a wage to earn, I’d work myself into the grave, but it’s an inheritance that’s given on the basis of a family name.
And here you call me little child.
You have every right to scold and berate and throw in my middle name for effect, so I know you mean business. But it’s not business at all, and the only transaction in this whole equation is the one and only life you gave for me so you could give me your name forever.
“All I have is yours,” you say.
No rationing, no interest fees, no conditions.
Pure gift, pure love, pure family.
So I can truly let go of my tarnished earnings and take your hand, come into the house where I will always have a home, be still and know you are Father.