Turning the corner and walking through the door, there is trepidation. There is a hope that the love will have remained regardless of the time that has passed, but also a thread of doubt that indifference of my return waits across the threshold. Then it happens. The sound of feet running across crumbling cement ground; the arms spread wide in anticipation of the embrace to come; the loving grin that shatters all fear from the distance and time that’s separated us. Bamlak throws her arms around my neck and kisses my cheeks as we happily revel in the reunion.
I could stay in that moment forever. To me it is a clear image of a love that is pure and unreserved. No matter the time that has passed, Bamlak welcomes me home with unfiltered joy.
Driving home after our first day back with the beautiful kids at Bring Love In, I was struck with a realization: Doesn’t this welcome sound like our gracious and compassionate God? That no matter how much time passes or how much we let fear consume us and lead us to believe there may be no one who cares for our return, He is the one who welcomes us home. He is there across the threshold of doubt, anger, fear, or brokenness waiting with arms open wide, ready to sprint to us, wrap us up in his embrace, and kiss our cheeks. His love is unashamed. It is always present, and it is the purest of loves. His joy at our return is unparalleled.
All of these kids are an image of that love and my heart cannot fathom how I have been given the opportunity to experience it for the third time. It’s a love I don’t want to take for granted.
I pray that God continues to shed light on the moments and the interactions—like this one with Bamlak—that make His love more known to us. I pray that our eyes are opened so that we may see Him more clearly on this earth. And lastly, I pray that our hearts remain rooted in the knowledge that He is overjoyed when we come home to Him, no matter how long it has been or how far we’ve distanced ourselves from his love that is waiting across the threshold.