Our Heavenly Father Gives Grace. By Max Lucado
Come with me to God’s living room.
Sit in the chair that was made for you and warm your hands by the fire which never fades. . . . Stand at the mantel and study the painting which hangs above it.
Your Father treasures the portrait. He has hung it where all can see. . ..
Captured in the portrait is a tender scene of a father and a son. Behind them is a great house on a hill. Beneath their feet is a narrow path. Down from the house the father has run. Up the trail the son has trudged. The two have met, here, at the gate.
We can’t see the face of the son; it’s buried in the chest of his father. No, we can’t see his face, but we can see his tattered robe and stringy hair. We can see the mud on the back of his legs, the filth on his shoulders and the empty purse on the ground.
At one time the purse was full of money. At one time the boy was full of pride. But that was a dozen taverns ago. Now both the purse and the pride are depleted.
The prodigal offers no gift or explanation. All he offers is the smell of pigs and a rehearsed apology: “Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:21 NCV).
Though we can’t see the boy’s face in the painting, we can’t miss the father’s. Look at the tears glistening on the leathered cheeks, the smile shining through the silver beard. One arm holds the boy up so he won’t fall, the other holds the boy close so he won’t doubt.
“Hurry!” he shouts. “Bring the best clothes and put them on him. Also, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get our fat calf and kill it so we can have a feast and celebrate.
My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost but now he is found!” (Luke 15:22–24 NCV). . . .
Gaze at this painting and be reminded of your God: It is right to call him Holy; we speak truth when we call him King. But if you want to touch his heart, use the name he loves to hear. Call him Father.
—The Great House of God
Max Lucado, born in the United States in 1955, is a best-selling Christian writer and minister writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church of Christ Church in San Antonio, Texas.