I know it may come as a shock to you, but I am kinda, sorta, a mama’s boy.
I am the oldest of four kids and our family is close.
When it came time for me to go away to school it was a bit of a traumatic experience.
I was far away from home. A distant land known as Bellingham, WA. It was an hour and a half away from my childhood home.
I attended Whatcom Community College, home of the Fighting Orcas.
For the first month, okay, two months, alright… for the first year I was home nearly every weekend.
I would do anything to come home. Bum a ride, borrow my girlfriend’s car, I even took Greyhound a few times.
I got used to the drive to and from Bellingham. Every time I had to go back to school it hurt all over again.
Whenever I returned home, I would bring laundry. I would proudly walk through the door with it hoping my mom would feel compassion for me and take care of it.
She made sure the laundry soap was stocked and the washer was clear and ready for ME to use.
I can’t ever remember a time while driving home, through the scenic Skagit valley or the not so picturesque Everett industrial sprawl when I felt I wouldn’t be welcomed home.
Our family didn’t work that way. I was always welcomed home. They were always happy to see me and vise versa.
I never felt nervous driving home. I never wondered if I would be accepted when I got there.
I knew my place was secure.
I also knew that more than likely we would share at least one fantastic family dinner cooked up by my mom.
I am blessed to be raised in a setting where this is my picture of “home.”
For many others home doesn’t evoke such happy memories.
Home is where hurts feel fresh again. Home is full of heartache. Home is broken.
Jesus paints a picture of home in which the heavenly Father is ready and eager to welcome us home in Luke chapter 15.
In this story the son has wandered off and isn’t missing home at all, in fact would rather forget his family even existed in the first place.
Yet the heart of the Father (God) still beats for his missing son.
I like to picture the Father pacing back and forth on the front porch scanning the horizon to see if his son is approaching.
Finally, as the story goes, the son reaches his low point. Broke and starving to death he returns home in hopes his father will make him an employee.
He even prepares a speech.
“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15.20, NLT)
The son attempts to explain himself with his prepared speech and the Father interrupts and commands his servants to tend to his son and get the party started.
That’s the heart of God for us.
He loves us. There’s a party waiting for those who return home.
God doesn’t need you to explain yourself.
He just wants you to come home.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a mama’s boy or a rebel. He loves you regardless and can’t wait to see you again.