Rounding the last corner after a long drive with two small children, I spotted her house. As I pulled in the drive my eyes found hers as she came from between the brightly colored hanging plants, a smile lighting up her face and her arms already spread wide to welcome me. A silent sigh from deep within escaped through my lips, releasing the stresses of the trip and so much more. We’d made it; despite spilled french fries, backseat territory arguments, unscheduled pit stops, and highway construction, we’d reached our destination….my Grandma’s arms!
Being at Grandma’s for me, was always a respite from the rest of the world. Affection abounded, caring overflowed, and despite what was going on in her life, I was always welcomed with her whole heart. She enveloped me into a place of tenderness and acceptance, but more than that, she had a way of making me feel truly treasured.
Looking back, I can’t tell you the exact words or actions my Grandma used to create such a sense of being cherished, but I can say that those times wrapped in her love and encouragement were a rare and precious gift I cling to today.
I don’t know about you, but I can easily lose sight of myself as a treasure and instead focus on my “rusty junk pile”. I fail, disappoint, abandon, compare, complain…you know the list. Oh, how I question my worth!
“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. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.” Luke 15:20-23
Here’s what the open, welcoming arms of my Grandma and those of the Prodigal Son’s Father are teaching me:
Our worth isn’t measured by what we do or don’t do. It’s measured by love.
That junk pile we worry about? Love took care of that when Jesus spread His arms, wide on the cross to welcome each of us to our destination in Heaven, where we will be accepted, loved, and treasured. Now that’s reason to celebrate!