My son sent me a photo this morning.
We are both early risers, so it was no surprise when a text came in around 6 AM – we’d both been up for a while, he opening up the gym at his school, me spending some time praying in the sweet little chapel at mine.
The thing is, I had been looking out the huge window behind the altar at the gray darking the morning sky when, slowly, streaks of brilliant pink sliced through the gaps in the clouds, winking dawn into being.
It made me all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing my youngest was admiring the same sky, the same sunrise, the same Creator of the same expanse.
Recently, I’ve been reading about Jacob and Esau.
These two brothers came out of the womb fighting and things went rapidly south when Jacob stole his older brother’s birthright then tricked him out of their father’s blessing.
Eventually, Jacob flees from Esau’s wrath, and the two spend years estranged from one another. But when Jacob finally prepares to meet Esau again, their reunion is nothing at all what he expected.
Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his 400 men…
Jacob must have been terrified, watching his brother advance, hoards of burly herders blocking his way.
So Jacob went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.
And they wept (Genesis 33:1-3, 4).
I almost wept, reading.
It reminded me of the story of the Prodigal Son, whose father must have also been looking out upon a vast expanse of world that had swallowed his boy and bound him, captive to his own wretched desires.
Why would anyone want to leave the Father?
But just like Jacob, the son finally realizes that estrangement is tearing him apart. He longs for reconciliation, longs for the warm fuzzy of his father.
So the young son set off for home.
From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.
Then the son said, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—”
The father interrupted and said, “Son, you’re home now!” (Luke 15:20-21)
You’re. Home. Now.
Isn’t that what we all want? The embrace of grace that tells us I love you even though, even if, even now.
I’m so grateful for grace.
Because we are all Jacobs, all prodigals, all wayward children longing for the pink dawn-touch of the Father, a home in the vast expanse of His love.