One evening in July, Terry and I decided to go hangout and have dinner at Bold Rock in Mills River. We heard they had a great food truck and often had music.
Fortunately, the midsummer night had a hint of cool, which begged us to stay outdoors.
A young family, also enjoying the perfect summer night were out on the lawn. They had two little boys. A babe and toddler probably 2 or 2 1//2. Since there wasn’t a slew of folks outside, the youngster had room to run and play. As he would near the fence line, the dad would call him back. This happened a time or town. The. about the third time the little boy neared the fence, turned around and said, “Daddy, I’m coming closer so I can see your eyes.”
As I’ve replayed that evening, I’ve had several thoughts. First, the child learned the boundary lines as the father called him back the first few times. He would go close to the fence line but he would never cross it. He was safe within the boundary.
Second, once he got comfortable within the boundary lines, he didn’t push the envelope to go outside. Instead, he would reassure his daddy that he was ok and that by coming closer he could see his fathers eyes. Not only was this safety for him but also reassured his father that he was obeying.
Interestingly, as the child would reassure his father, the dad was already coming towards him, just in case he decided to cross over or through the fence.
As the scene continues to replay in my mind, I am reminded that we are like the little boy and God is the Father. He gives us safe boundaries to live and move within. When we get too close to danger, He calls us back. It’s our choice to come back. It’s our choice to say, “Daddy, I’m coming closer so I can see your eyes.” Sometimes, unlike the little fella, we even cross the boundary lines. But reassured He is already running towards us long before we ever come back to Him.
In the story of the “Prodigal Son” we see this action of love on full display. When the father found out the wayward son had returned this was his response in Luke 15:21-24 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Considering my past and the poor choices I made, I always marvel at how great God’s love is for me!