George HW Bush, who recently passed away, said something in an old interview that has stuck with me. When asked about his greatest success he answered:
“ My kids still come home.”
Hmmm . . . not what you’d expect from a man who held the most powerful position on the planet, but I get it. I get it now more than ever.
Three of our four children have moved out. But each one of them has made the journey to be home for the holidays. Our youngest daughter came to stay with us from her little apartment 20 blocks away, our older daughter drove over from the town just South of us, and, our oldest son and his wife made the 7,600 mile trip from Phnom Penh. When all the kids are home it fills our hearts with joy. Lisa and I are enjoying every second of this. Cherishing ever smile, every quiet moment, every peal of laughter.
I have been a father for 26 years and I think each year of parenthood brings me to a deeper understanding of the heart of God-the-Father. I’ve come to believe anything that brings joy to God is worship. As God is our Father, I have got to believe that every time His children travel into His presence it brings a smile to His face and brings joy to His heart. Every time we go out of our way to spend time with our Heavenly Father it is worship.
Nothing brings me more joy than when one of my children walks through our front door to spend time with us. I think God probably gets even more contentment and joy when His kids come home. This understanding informs how I serve at our rescue mission/recovery center.
When someone walks through our doors it is my goal to make then understand and feel how incredibly head-over-heels God is pleased that they have come “home.”
When people know they are completely loved for who they are in the midst of a loving place that they can call home, well, that’s when the healing can begin. Creating a place where hurting and broken people can begin to truly experience the love God has for them is what drives me as I serve.
Loving people well creates space wherein people who have been stuck, can become ‘unstuck.’ It is not our job to preach at people or to tell people they are getting it wrong, it is not even our job to ‘fix’ people (like that is within our power in the first place!). It is our job to walk alongside people into the loving, transforming presence of God our Father.
By Cash Lowe
Organizational Chaplain, Shepherd’s House Ministries