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He doesn’t know that I happened to be in my second floor office that day, or that I happened to see him walk down our sidewalk toward the waiting bus.

I sat there, fingers frozen above my keyboard, watching it all unfold.

A dad, walking expectantly toward his daughter, arms slowly stretching outward ready to fold her up in his love.

He walked until she met his embrace, whispered something into a nest of hair, and then one-by-one, took each of her possessions, carrying them as his own.

 

Instrument.

Backpack.

Shed coat.

Lunch pail.

Each found a finger, crook of the arm, or shoulder on the man— instead of on the girl.

Reaching around with an arm somehow yet unencumbered, he draped her in care and attention.

Gladly moving toward her.

Gladly welcoming her, gathering her up.

Gladly taking her burden.

Gladly standing at her side.

Gladly walking with her, next to her, listening…

This father had been watching the clock and knew the time of day. He had left his own office, made his way into the foyer to lace up his shoes and anticipated the moment of leaving, thinking of her.

That space of quiet was a postcard to my heart: a picture in the flesh of God’s love for us.

It was how I picture the Prodigal son: returning home all weighed down and burdened with shame, only to be lavished in unconditional, open-armed love.

It was a picture of Christ saying, “My burden is easy, my yoke is light.” *  Jesus wants to carry our load.

It was a picture of  the Resurrection meeting his disciples on the road to Emmaus.* Jesus wants to walk beside us and talk to us, sharing our journey.

Like a loose strand of yarn pulled from the corner of a scarf, that moment unraveled into so many lessons. I felt as though God gifted that moment to remind me who He is, who He always has been—and who he wants to be for me.

I just have to be willing to run to his embrace.

I have to be willing to hand over my stuff…

..and let him walk at my side.

Do you know this Jesus? If you have questions about what it means to be a Christ follower, I’d love to talk to you. Please leave a comment or email me using the envelope icon in the upper right corner.

 

*Matthew 11:30; Luke 24:13-35 [photo]