Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
calling for you and for me;
patiently Jesus is waiting and watching,
watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home;
you who are weary, come home;
earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
calling O sinner come home! (“Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling” by Will L. Thompson)
“‘I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.” So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:18–20 NLT)
When some of the earliest European explorers visited what is now known as Australia, they encountered a wide variety of creatures unlike any they had seen before, many of which are quite unique to that island continent. When writing about a wallaby in 1629, a Dutch explorer used a number of other, well-known creatures as reference points, including cats, hares, apes, meerkats, and raccoons. As imaginative as people are – and an imagination is an incredibly creative gift from God – we still require something about which we already have experience to help ground us.
It’s impossible to believe anyone, when they meet God face to face, will see Him and say, “He is exactly what I expected Him to be!” For some, the image of God the Father is tainted by associations with our earthy fathers, but even when this is not the case, who God actually is cannot be contained so easily within our imaginations or estimations. Our imaginings of the God of the universe calling us to Him, wooing us to His love will always fall short of reality; it is difficult, if not impossible, to fully grasp the radical love of our Father for us. Spend a while alone with God to allow Him to break down the lies and misconceptions you have accepted and held onto, then let go of them so you can learn to live in a more true understanding of who God is and how much He loves you.