You walk to your letterbox, open it, and find the usual fistful of mail. A few catalogues. A letter from a hopeful politician wanting your vote in the looming election. A brochure for pest control. What looks like a car registration bill.
And a pale blue envelope with your name in sloping letters.
You turn it over to see who has opted for snail mail over flicking you a quick email or text. There, written in the same deliberate, yet graceful, hand is a word that makes your heart quicken.
Pfft! Who’s pulling a prank? you wonder. You turn the envelope back over to check the postmark: Paradise. There’s a place called Paradise in Tassie, somewhere out past Deloraine. But there’s another word stamped in the corner; Eternity.
What would you do?
Say it was you who went to that letterbox and pulled out that pale blue envelope enclosing a letter from God. What do you think it would say? Your answer will speak volumes of who you think God is.
Perhaps He would open with, “Oh Claire…” (An opener enough to make you shrivel into your shoes). “I thought better of you; I had such big plans; Pity you’re not like your brother; How could you betray me?; Where’s your strength, patience, humility, self control…”
God is terribly misunderstood and misrepresented.
I know definitively that any letter from God would ooze expressions of genuine love, not disappointment, and I know so because of the love letters scattered throughout the Bible. I think that letter would read something like this:
I may be a stranger to you, yet I know you intimately (Psalm 139:1). You are my child after all (Acts 17:28), made in my likeness (Genesis 1:27). It’s because of me that you inhale and exhale, feel, move, think and want. It’s because of me that you long for something better (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
You were not a mistake, even if your parents said so, because your days were planned, written into my calendar before you were even born. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. You’re a masterpiece! (Psalm 139:13-16)
I offer you a future of hope (Jeremiah 29:11), my never-ending, all-encompassing love (Jeremiah 31:3) and the promise to grant you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4), for I secreted them within you (Philippians 2:13).
Do you comprehend what I have done?
I gave up everything to gain your love (Romans 8:31-32). If you would only believe, accept, and move beyond your old ways, nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8:38-39). I’ve prepared the party for your homecoming (Luke 15:7).
I know you as my beloved child, do you know me as your Father (John 1:12-13)?
waiting with open arms (Luke 15:11-32),
(Some of the inspiration for this post was from Father’s Love Letter)
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As printed in The Examiner newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday July 15, 2013.