"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."
~ Luke 15: 20
"I'm waiting on the right invitation," is how she said it. Exactly like that! This was what one of my patients shared about going to heaven. I had to laugh when she began to share about some of the folks she had encountered in her life, and, "if they think I'm going to heaven with them, then they have another thing to think about!"
Through the years I have met people I might not think as the ideal person to welcome me into heaven, but I can't imagine passing up the opportunity of eternity because I simply didn't care for the first person I met along the way!
Sometimes I wonder if heaven will have an orientation period, filled with many reconciling moments. Caring for one another unconditionally is not supposed to only be reserved for the streets of heaven.
Through the years I have known unconditional people. The work that goes into reconciliation can be both challenging and rewarding.
Our ability to be agents of healing and wholeness in a fragmented world involves our ability to welcome one another. The long-awaited return is not to only be the subject of a Lifetime movie event. It is to be lived out simultaneously with our daily life, and our understanding that we are the instruments by which it will happen.
God is both patient and kind, but most of all, God is always waiting.
God's unconditional love means that God continues to love us even when we seem to forget that God has a higher road for each of us to journey, that always leads back home.
It is important for us to hold on to the truth that God never gives up loving us even when God is saddened by what we do. That truth will help us to return to God's ever-present love.
It means that we are the source of the invitation, whether it's an earthly mission or a heavenly calling, and it's our responsibility to respond when it is offered to us!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.