What child, when he/she was old enough to make a pout and stomp a foot, has not threatened to run away from home? I probably did, but I don’t remember details. But I do remember my baby making a get-away. Yes, I said, BABY! Forgive me, Lord, but I did not notice that the screen door wasn’t properly latched and there was an escapee who quietly left the house. It couldn’t have been moments ~ and I am sure God had His eyes trained on my little munchkin ~ when the doorbell rang. There stood my neighbor from across the street holding . . . a baby who looked exactly like mine! I couldn’t believe my eyes and my face must have registered shock as she asked, “Is he yours?” Relief rushed through every fiber of my being as I reached out gratefully and took my little rebel into my arms. She simply explained, “I happened to look out my window and saw him crawling down the driveway.” Whew! What a relief that this story has a happy ending!
I can put cause and effect together in this incident. Actually, my baby was not running away from; he was crawling towards. You see, his older brother was riding back and forth on his little hot wheels on the sidewalk in front of the house and his little brother would pull himself up so he could see out the window and watch. Apparently watching became highly overrated and he crawled to the door, found it gave way to his touch and now you know the whole story.
This, fortunately, is a sweet memory at this point in our family’s life and we are now able to retrieve good memories like when the boys became pranksters and even fooled mom and dad a time or two . . . and maybe more that we don’t know about. But the concept of running away in the spiritual sense, got me thinking what that must be like for God. Are we seen as a bunch of runaways doing our own thing with only an occasional thought about Him? Or do we run towards our Heavenly Father? Do we see Him as a father who will pick us up, holding us high overhead and laugh as we giggle in delight? Or do we see Him as a harsh, belittling father who is self-absorbed, cranky and disinterested in his children?
How we see our Heavenly Daddy may depend on our childhood view of our earthly daddy. If we feared we’d be punished harshly for any infraction, then we would likely fear our Heavenly Father too. But God is not harsh or cruel in any way. He is only loving, just like 1 John 4:8, 16 say, in essence, that God is Love. It’s an abiding thing ~ in each other. It says that if we don’t love, we really don’t know God, because God is Love. He need not be feared, but revered for His never-ending Love of His kids.
So simple and yet, so profound. Praise His Name.