Entry 05 March 4th, 2014
The echoes of memory...or this is what Love sounds like
Continuing in the voice series, here's installment number 2:
The Voice of God is Loving
If I were to say to you that someone had a very loving voice what would you think of? Would it be a certain tone or the words that they used when speaking? Maybe it would be the manner in which they presented themselves while they were speaking, but I would imagine with all of the different perceptions about love that exist in this world today the thought of a loving voice brings many different ideas to mind. Some of you thought of a spouse...girlfriend or boyfriend…a close family relative…your parents or siblings. I always think of my Father’s voice.
I can imagine that some of you may be unsure of that thought. Maybe your father doesn’t exactly come off as being "loving" in your estimation of that word. It could be he doesn’t know how to express his love vocally. Maybe he has a tendency to yell and make you feel like you’re not living up to some expectation he has for you. Maybe it’s hard because your father left or you’ve never known him at all. I understand and want you to know something – so does my Father. In fact He sent me to walk among you to show the world that He understands and wants you to know that He loves you and there is a place for you, all of you, in His family.
I can see that some of you are still unsure about this so let me tell you a story. Once there was a man with a rather large fortune that he had promised to divide equally between his two sons after he passed away. The sons were extremely pleased by this, but after a few years the younger son, we’ll call him Johnny, decided he did not want to wait for his father to be gone to get his share of the inheritance. So one day he went to his father and said “Dad I’ve decided I want to get out of this place and I don’t want to wait until after you’ve passed away to get what you’ve promised me, I want my share now.” Surprisingly, his father agreed and let him have what he was promised. Over the course of the next several months Johnny did every wild thing he could think of and had always wanted to do. He threw insane parties and drank until he couldn’t stand up, stayed with different girls every night, tried as many drugs as he could find to get high, really thought that this was the best life could be and that he was surrounded by all kinds of new people who were his friends. Then one day there was no money left. All of a sudden his new friends stopped coming over to hang out and none of the girls he’d been with would return his calls. He was kicked out of his luxury apartment because he couldn’t pay the rent. His drug habit was making him sick because he couldn’t buy anything he thought would make him feel better. Johnny ended up out on a corner downtown begging everyone who passed for some change or a bite to eat, and ended up going to sleep in an alley with nothing. He thought of his past life, of his father. His father had many employees, both at his company and on the grounds of the house, and they were always taken care of above and beyond just their regular salaries. It occurred to Johnny that perhaps his father would take him on as an employee and that would certainly be better than being here with nothing. So Johnny composed himself and made his way back home. Now Johnny’s father had been watching and waiting each day for any sign that he might be returning home and when he saw him walking up the driveway that day he ran outside to greet him, hugging him tightly despite Johnny’s fumbling attempts to apologize and make his offer of employment. He rushed Johnny inside and started the shower for him, picking out a new suit and shoes for him to wear as well. He then rented out the best restaurant in town and invited everyone he knew to come and celebrate Johnny’s homecoming. His older son, James, was upset by this and refused to go. When his father inquired as to why James replied, “I’ve been here all this time, doing everything you’ve asked of me and never once have I gotten so much as a small gathering of friends for a party, and he runs off and spends all of his time and money on drugs, sex, and alcohol and when he returns destitute you throw him a celebration feast!!” His father hugged him tight and said, “James I appreciate and love all that you do and have done for me, and look around you – everything I have is now yours. But tonight we must celebrate your brother, for I thought he must be dead, but he’s alive and has returned.”
This is the way my Father is with everyone who comes to Him. He is gracious and compassionate and ready to forgive each of you if you will but turn and come to Him and ask to be given a seat at the family table. He loves you and wants what is best for you in your life and is standing there with open arms and a smile saying come home…come join My family, I love you.