Cathy and I had just come from a Sunday morning church service, still dressed in our ‘church clothes’. We had wanted to get the two pots of soup to the gathering as soon as possible after we left church and made a decision to wait to change out of our dress clothes until after we got the soup on the stove.
Standing at the glass door was another person, my granddaughter Fallon, thirteen months old….waiting to see her “Pa”. I heard her call my name as I approached the glass door and looked to see her face pressed against the cold glass door that was covered with condensation from the cold winter day.
I thought that I could ignore her in order to return to the car to get another load to bring into the house; which included the clothing that I wanted to change into. I heard her little voice call out again; “Pa” and looked to see her looking up at me with arms wide open, heart exposed, and longing for her “Pa” to pick her up and hold her.
It really didn’t matter to her that the soup ‘needed’ to get on the stove in order to heat it up for the rest of the family who were also eagerly awaiting Cathy and I. It didn’t matter to her that I ‘needed’ to change out of my dress clothes or at least take off my tie. It didn’t matter to her that the floor was covered with bags filled with items for the gathering, some of which needed to get put into the refrigerator. It didn’t matter to her that the floor had piles of snow carried in on the bottom of our shoes as we walked across the yard.
She, at that moment, didn’t want anything or anyone other than “Pa”; and so she called out again; “Pa” looking up at me with arms wide open, heart exposed, and longing for her “Pa” to pick her up and hold her.
At that moment I also thought of my adult children, recalling the days when they were young and wanted me to ‘hold me’ as they looked up at me with arms wide open, heart exposed, and longing for their dad to pick them up and hold them.
And my heart broke as it always does when I see this precious little one longing to be with me and so I let everything else go and bent down and picked this little one up into my arms and received her love. And I held her tightly to my chest soaking in each heartbeat of this precious unmerited encounter.
I think that is why a loving God would allow children to be born in the toxicity of this broken world. Simply put, they remind us of His love for us and how He really wants us to come to Him. He wants us to come to Him with arms wide open, heart exposed, and longing for our “Pa” to pick us up and hold us.
He isn’t as preoccupied with the religious things as we might think. He wants us to come to Him and spend time with Him as though nothing else matters.
One of the most vivid displays of this is recorded in Matthew 23:37when Jesus Laments over Jerusalem and says; “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (NKJV)
But God didn’t stop there; He demonstrated His own love toward us, “in that while we were still sinners; Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) He hung on a cross while we were yet sinners arms wide open, heart exposed, and longing for us to come to Him like my granddaughter does each and every time I see her.
Won’t you come to Him now? He’s waiting for your response to His open arms.