“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him.” LUKE 15:20 AMP
Wow what a response to disappointment and the humanity of another, especially when that other is familiar, known, family?
Here is a Father. He sees a long way off and connects with the vulnerability of his son. He rans towards. He embraces. He clothes and covers that vulnerability with the finest he has.
This is so counter-cultural. Culture is so wired right now for rejecting our humanity and our imperfections, preferring to dose up on the myth of perfection and the juice of judgment.
Heaven’s culture is ridiculous and offensive, and will find our religious buttons. It runs towards and makes friends with our humanity and our vulnerability.
Heaven was so ridiculous in its honouring of our humanity, it got really carried away and made Jesus, the Darling of heaven, human. And then not only that, but human son to a virgin teenager betrothed to be married!
What do we do in this toxic shame culture with imperfection?
We are neuro-biologically hard wired to not hurt one another. Did you know that? It goes against our human nature literally.
Violence, slander, gossip goes against who we are. We are made for connection, for forgiveness, for interdependence. We are made to need each other. Research shows that when we hurt another person, we actually hurt ourselves.
One of the growing behaviours in the Western World right now is what researchers call ‘common enemy intimacy’. Common Enemy Intimacy is connection around who we should all hate. We relate to each other based on who we hate, rationalising that is where our pain and suffering is coming from.
Social behaviours get actioned out thru so many avenues, social media being a significant one of them, slowly eroding our humanity with words and images that dehumanise.
Meanwhile history is shouting to us showing us that these progressions are the basis of every genocide that has ever happen.
“In USA right now we are slowly using dehumanising language with people with whom we disagree. No one has the high ground, from leaders to people it’s happening. When we use dehumanising language it says more about us that the people we are dehumanising & I think honestly it chips away at our soul. Dehumanisation is not a social justice tool, it is emotional off loading, it is self indulgent, it is a way to off load our anger, our fear, our rage.” Dr Brene Brown 2017
But this was not what the Father did. The Father did not choke at the vulnerability or imperfection seen in his son, though he had every ‘right’ to feel disappointed.
This Father did what our Father in Heaven does. He was safe. He was honor. He was completely intolerant of shame and it’s tools. The Father’s capacity to receive who and what his son had chosen, was on show here. For you see, our responses say more than perhaps the actions of others.
The Father was moved. He reckoned with emotion and responded with fearless compassion, reckless love and bullet proof honor. He knew he was not judge, he was Father. He mastered his self-righteousness and grief.
His strength was both in spirit and soul, and he ran TOWARDS vulnerability, towards humanity, towards imperfection.
And he still runs towards today. God is a good Father!
Father God, thank you you are good. You are safe, you are always honouring us and you never dehumanise us. You love our vulnerability. Teach us how to be like wise. Teach us how to be like you and not like that which is around us. In Jesus Name and for Jesus name.