Above all, put on love, which is the
perfect bond of unity.
Colossians 3:14, CSB
Sharp nails used to secure the shingles on the young man’s roof reluctantly released their grip in the furious storm. Shingles flew haphazardly across many neighborhoods, leaving the home exposed to the elements.
After the howling winds ended, the trees stood straight again, and the sun poked through the clouds. The young man eagerly gathered His tools needed for the repair and climbed the ladder to meet His Father on the roof. This new roof would be much better than the old one – strong enough to weather any storm!
The Son always enjoyed time with his Father. He’d spent His life watching him work. He studied His ways, listened to His advice, and tried to do things exactly as He did them. Pretty soon everyone who knew them commented on how much they favored. It warmed the Son’s heart to have His Father oversee the repairs.
Reaching the rooftop, the Son couldn’t help but smile as He peered over the top of the ladder and saw His Dad lost in the moment – again. The older man’s grandchildren and their friends had captured His full attention as He watched them play together in the backyard. The Son knew better than to interrupt this kind of moment, so He sat down quietly next to His Dad, propped back on both hands, and crossed His legs. The younger version of the Father understood this might take a while, but He was in no hurry.
“Tell me about these kids, Son,” the Father said without taking His eyes off the children.
The Son began, “They are all from different neighborhoods, backgrounds, and schools, but they seem drawn to my kids. All of them met a while back at the city playground and eventually, one by one, they found their way to my house. They’ve been here every day since the storm. They find comfort here where they can forget about its effects.”
Father nodded slowly. While still staring at the scene below, He sighed, “I see. Tell me more.”
“Dad, do you see that boy in the blue shirt down there? That’s Billy. His dad lost his job due to the storm, and has been too depressed to spend time with Billy. He craves attention from anyone who will give it.
The sweet little redheaded girl is Susie. She lives with her mom and they’ve had a rough time adjusting to life after her daddy died. She cracks jokes and makes all the other kids laugh, but I believe it’s all a coverup.
Oh, and that little fella standing there against the fence? His name is Johnny. He doesn’t say much until he gets to know you. His dad yells at Johnny and his mom all the time and neither of them can do enough to make him happy. He’s a perfectionist who rarely seems satisfied with anyone. Johnny comes here where he can be accepted just like he is and get away from the madness at home.”
The Father’s eyes finally shifted away from the kids and looked admiringly into the eyes of His Son. “It seems like you’ve spent a great deal of time getting to know these children. You know each of them by name.”
“I do, and some of them even know my name,” He replied with a boyish grin.
Father laughed and exclaimed, “Well, there’s one thing I know for sure! I could pick your kids out of any crowd. They look like you, talk like you, and have the same love for people that you have. You’ve put a light in them that is unmistakable. You have taught them well, my Son. Well done!”
The Son knew this was a moment to savor, so he closed His eyes and humbly said, “Thank you, Dad. You know I learned everything I know from You. I want all of these children, not just mine, to know You like I do. I want them to enjoy the time it takes to not only get to You, but to also enjoy getting to know each other. They all feel safe with me, and I’m hoping they will bring their friends and family here to meet me. Nothing would thrill my soul more than for my house to be filled with children who were all different, but of the same heart and mind. Do you ever think that will happen, Dad?”
“Well, Son, storms have a way of bringing out the best in some folks and the worst in others. Some find buried courage by lighting a candle in the dark. Others get buried in fear by refusing to even search for a candle. I’m afraid it will always be that way. It’s up to Your kids to lead their friends to Your peace. And You and I both know love leads best! But, right now we’d better get this roof on. I feel the wind picking up.”
“The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind — just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me.”John 17:21-23, The Message