Even though it was over four decades ago, I can remember the scene just after support like it was yesterday. The day had been fantastic; great games, riding our bicycles, and most importantly of all, playing with Dad! As supper ended Dad explained that he had to go over to the shop to work on a project which needed to be finished up. This was not the message we wanted to hear. We argued, pleaded, and begged for Dad to change his mind. I’m sure we used all the logic, manipulation, and persuasive arguments we could imagine; anything but accepting the rationale of the situation. In the end it became clear that we had lost, Dad was going.
We didn’t give up. Quick scheming suggested becoming stowaways. Our logic followed the rationale if Dad wasn’t going to stay then we were going to go with him. I’m sure the quietness which flooded the house in our absence was a small hint something was up. Dad toyed briefly with our emotions, actually starting the truck and initially backing down the driveway. Just before he got to the street the truck stopped. Our hearts were pounding in the dark. Mercifully the suspense ended as the tarp flew open to reveal two kids hiding in the corner. Dad’s smile let us know how much he enjoyed the sentiment and we understood his heart’s desire.
Messages can be tough but the call to deliver doesn’t change because of how we feel about being the messenger. The conflict isn’t new. Jesus faced a similar challenge when he realized his death was imminent. The “kids” were ready. Yet they needed to know.
“Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I'm telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’” (John 13.33)
There are people you and I will meet today who desperately need to know they are accepted and loved just as they are. We can be the messenger.
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