When my mother died, I received a wonderful letter of comfort from a church friend. She talked of the emptiness that comes when both parents die. Parents can provide a safe place of refuge. Many of us have learned that no matter what happens in our lives our mother, or father, or both will love us anyway. Even though we’re adults they still hold us as we cry, just as they did when we were children. That kind of safety is a priceless treasure.
As I read the letter my mind turned to Jesus’ story of the lost son Lost and alone, the results of his own life choices. This son turned toward home where he knew he would not be turned away. Even if he was reduced to the level of the lowest servant, he would be fed and sheltered. When he approached his childhood home, his father ran to meet him and gathered him up in a warm and loving embrace. (Luke 15: 11-32).
My mother had given me that kind of love. My safe refuge was no longer physically with me. I mourned her leaving. My church friend’s words reminded me of two things. First, I had already provided that same kind of home for my children. During the storms of life, they knew that they could find refuge with me. I remember actually saying that to one of mine. No matter what happens in my life or yours, you will never be rid of me. I will love you always.
Jesus said, “if your child asks for bread would you give him a stone?” If you can give that kind of love, then God’s love is so much greater.
As I grieved my mother’s death, I was comforted by this scripture. My earthly mother may no longer be with me, but God is with me. God’s loving arms enfold me. Even when I have turned away, God’s love is with me, waiting. In God we have a safe refuge. I’m grateful.
Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? … If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”