The two embraced in front of the school, a father and a son. Empowered by his father’s hug, the son joyfully headed to the school doors as the father watched and waited.
This was the sight that grabbed my attention as I drove away from my daughter’s school this morning. Two days a week I work at her school, which educates kindergarteners through fifth graders. The fifth graders always appear big to me. They are older, wiser, tougher than the 5-to-8-year-olds.
The son I observed embracing his father this morning was one of the fifth graders. In the moment of the quick embrace, this fifth grader suddenly seemed small and vulnerable.
On my drive back home, I imagined myself. Here I am at mid-life, older, wiser, understanding like an adult, no longer a child. I imagined this adult me (big and responsible) embraced by God the Son. Picturing this in my mind, the grown-up me suddenly seemed small and vulnerable. Needing the empowerment of my Father’s hug.
Sunday school pictures and Michelangelo artwork do not do the Messiah justice. We are a people who have grown up with a rather frail visual image of God’s son. In the 8th chapter of Mark, Peter tells Jesus that the people think that Jesus is the prophet Elijah or John the Baptist returned from the dead.
Elijah, the great prophet who called down fire from heaven, came from Gilead. People from Gilead were known to be tough and rugged. John the Baptist dressed in camel and ate locusts, lived in the desert. He also was a rugged individual.
In Isaiah 53:2 it says of the Messiah — “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Imagine yourself now in His embrace. You–small and not so wise and understanding; Jesus–rugged, tough, big dude, infinitely wise.
Today I am going to let myself be the small, vulnerable one and receive His empowering embrace.