Yesterday, we celebrated (at home) my favorite holiday, Easter. For Christians this isn’t about bunnies and colored eggs (even though that’s fun stuff), but most importantly, it’s about the Resurrection of our Savior. Even the most wayward believer will feel the emotion pulling at their eyelids on this day, the day we remember that Jesus died on the cross to free us from sin. I mean, what other person can you think of who would ask their Dad, a Father who controls the rising of the sun and the ocean’s waves, to forgive the people who just conspired to kill Him? I think most of us would ask Poppa to teach those guys a lesson they wouldn’t soon forget. But alas, that just wasn’t part of the plan, was it? Nope. The plan from the beginning was to save men (and women) who didn’t know they needed saving, to save people who didn’t deserve saving, and even to save the stubborn who didn’t want saving. That’s love.
As I was praying in the Spirit today I felt like God told me that we’re all the prodigal son. Remember that story? He left home, spent his inheritance in record time, and came back with his tail between his legs just hoping for a job as a servant and a little crust of bread. But instead of his father giving him the third degree, or saying “I told you so, son,” he welcomed him with open arms. Then he threw him a party. His father gave him the best of what he had, even though he had squandered his own portion. That’s love.
We, the collective prodigals, love our Father. We know the sacrifice of His son. Yet we waste the inheritance we’ve been given, even though it’s the only thing we can take with us to Heaven. Instead of holding the gift from our Father of peace and security in Him while walking through this life, we chase the pleasures of this world. We forget the courage He has placed within us, and instead fear the unknown around us, never remembering that He controls it all. And worse yet, we place most of our value on things of zero kingdom value. We might as well be lying in the filth of the pig pen, since we’ve forgotten the royal heritage from which we come.
You know, I’ve really enjoyed the side effects of this recent pandemic. Sure, I wish I could go to the water park, especially since it’s 90 degrees in Florida today, but I must say I enjoy the not going. Something about going, it brings out that hurried nature. And I’m not saying I love the sickness that consumes so many. I am a nurse, after all, and I’ve seen firsthand the terrible trauma caused by this virus. It makes my heart weep. But I’ve also seen the ability it’s had to make us stop and be still. Now that is what we needed.
Hunger made the prodigal son run home to his Poppa, and a similar hunger has taken hold in our country. I’ve seen people run to God in their fear, uncertainty, and desperation. And even though we deserve a stern “I told you so, son,” He never even considers it. He just embraces us.
I’ve seen families sit down and talk, like, really talk. They’re no longer too busy to have a conversation.
I’ve seen people stop and enjoy a sunset since they’re no longer rushing about, too busy to see everyday blessings.
Children are home with their parents, spouses are taking a break from work, and they’re all seeing the beauty of time spent together. The world had gotten so busy, I think we forgot how special that is.
I’ve seen Christians begin to move in their spiritual gifting, myself included, as if we just needed that little push to make us more courageous.
I’ve seen humanity open itself to others. And even though there’s the selfish few taking more than they need, more than that I’ve seen an influx of giving. We’ve been forced to slow down and see the needs of a neighbor. We’ve had our eyes opened to how blessed we each are in our own way, and it’s encouraged us to share that blessing with someone else.