She pulls her in by her side, arms wrapped strong and secure. She whisper sweet words of affection, affirmation. She lets her know that she’s special to her, that she delights in her. It’s so beautiful to see.
She’s an orphan, with scars in her heart. She didn’t know she’d find such love in her life. She looks up at the face smiling down at her. She is loved. It’s so beautiful to see.
I look into my life and history. Where have I had such tenderness? Where have I had someone wrap her arms around me to whisper words of affection? I can’t remember. I can’t find a human being who so kindly loved me. I realize I, too, have been an orphan.
Then I remember. I remember the moments my Father showed me his face. It wasn’t cringing as I had imagined all my life. Instead, there was a smile, a song, with whispers of joyful celebration, dancing over me. I remember feeling his embrace, so secure and permanent. He has been in my life the One who pulls me close. And I realize, no, I am not an orphan. I belong to my Father and the Savior who befriends me, who loved me so much as to die for me. I am His beloved. I belong to His family, forever. I try to hold back the tears.
It became clear to me at this moment that the Kingdom of God is all that matters. Social justice, revitalization, volunteering, these are all good things. Yet, what is quintessential to all life and work is to bring peoples and nations to know the Father through Jesus Christ. Because everyone needs to have the Father pull them in close to His side, to hear His words of affection. This is eternal life, and all else is secondary. To share this is our call and mission.