I hugged one of our boys today (after disciplining them nonetheless) and realized something: I’m always the first to let go. That probably sounds odd, but it’s true. I’ve always got something else to do or another kid to attend to, so when the discipline is over, and the hug of “I still love you” is done, I move on, tackling the next thing.
But today, I stayed still. I stopped and let those little arms stay close around my neck for another minute; actually much longer than I thought. And in that quiet moment, I felt myself relax too. I felt the quietness say-this is important; maybe more important that the words you just shared. Stay here. Be all here. This is restoration.
That same embrace is what the Gospel offers me. Mercy to forgive but then grace to hold me; to let me release all my guilt, all the expectations I have put on myself. He holds me in His everlasting arms and reassures me of His love. That’s real parent love!