God’s Heart in His Word
While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. -Luke 15:20
Several years ago, I had an ongoing vision in my Christian imagination of Jesus and me on a playground. When the image first entered my prayer, I asked, “On a playground, Lord? Really?”
And in reply, Jesus laughed! And with a glimmer in His eye and a warm smile across His face, He extended His hand in invitation.
Over the course of several months, Jesus taught me a new parable. One about how the Kingdom of Heaven is like a playground. He used analogies that included slides, swings, and scraped knees.
One day in prayer, I found myself on the very edge of the playground. I saw shackles around my ankles. From each shackle were numerous chains that kept me unable to enter the playground. And I knew these shackles represented the things that kept me apart from Jesus: anxiety, fear, shame, perfectionism, sin.
Then, I saw Jesus in the center of the playground, His arms stretched toward me, inviting me in. Desperately, I tried to free myself from the shackles. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t remove them. I felt frustrated and I grew weary. I wanted to meet Jesus, but I was stuck.
When Jesus saw that I struggled to reach Him, He walked toward me until the space between us disappeared. Jesus drew me into an embrace. Warmth and security filled my entire being.
He bent down and gently touched each burden that kept me from Him. One by one, the chains fell away and disappeared. All of them, gone!
Suddenly, I felt lighter. I cried tears of gratitude and joy. The act of mercy Jesus showed me reminded me of the Prodigal Son, whose father also approached Him, embraced Him, and forgave the things that kept them apart.
Standing on the edge with me, Jesus took a step into the playground, His Kingdom. Extending His hand to me, He said with a smile, “Let’s go, Sarah!”
I placed my hand in His and responded, “OK, Lord. Let’s go!”
And we began to run.Jesus extends His invitation. #BISblog #prayerpledge // Click To Tweet
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Let Us Pray
Lord, Your Heart is filled with compassion for me. I am overwhelmed by Your love. Thank You for approaching me and loving me right where I am. Amen.
When have you experienced the overwhelming love of Jesus?
How can you give Him thanks for the way He comes to you and seeks you out, right where you are?In His Heart: The 2020 Prayer Pledge // Day 13 #BISblog #prayerpledge // Click To Tweet
Sarah Damm is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She is a Catholic wife and mother of six children, living in Minnesota. She spends her days running errands, helping with homework, and keeping up with laundry and the family schedule. Sarah loves her faith, coffee, and good books. You can find out more about her here.