Holidaying in South Durras is a delight. A beautiful corner of the world, beaches, sandstone rock formations, bike rides and lovely bush trails to explore.
On one sunny morning over the Easter break we walked through the back of the shack property and down to a path that crossed a creek via a walk bridge.
On the bridge was a father, his son and daughter. The daughter was on one side of the creek and the son in the middle of the bridge anxiously looking over the side where his shiny new rugby ball was floating serenely in the middle of the dark tea tree coloured creek. He was looking dismayed and upset as he looked to his dad who then walked to the other end of the bridge, found a long branch and stood at the edge of the creek guiding the ball back to land with the branch.
As we walked by I heard the young boy make a heartfelt apology to his dad: ‘I’m so sorry dad.’
It was the reply of the father that spoke volumes to me. In a quiet and kind voice he simply said:
‘That’s OK son!’
Phil and I kept walking, but I pondered the scene as I went and reflected that many parents would have responded differently, either out of frustration, annoyance, anger and recrimination. I’ve heard those responses far too often and cringe as I hear parents speak harshly to their children when they make mistakes.
It crushes something inside a child when they are regularly criticised and condemned often for just being a child and childish.
But this father was not perturbed at all. Their walk, yes, interrupted, the ball obviously thrown, missed, who knows. I didn’t see that part.
But I heard the genuine remorse of the child and the genuine love and acceptance of the father and it reminded me of my heavenly Father who is always kind, good and gracious to me. He is never impatient, cross or harshly judging me for my human frailties.
Instead he lovingly accepts me and works with me to deal with the problem together, just as this Father did on a walk with his children. God is bigger, stronger, kinder and more loving towards me than anyone else I have ever and will ever know, and I am grateful for that.
I wonder what voice you hear when you make mistakes, do you hear the voice of an angry parent, or a gracious gentle God who accepts you, loves you and steps in to work with you to put things right.
It changes our lives when we know we are loved and accepted every day no matter what happens.