He appeared in the distance with pig slop all over his face and mud all over his ripped and yellowed clothes. Dirty. Unwanted. Worthless. Ugly. Alone. He appeared in the distance and his father saw him.

The son limped over the hill and the father began to sprint towards his son. His father ran threw his arms around him, and kissed him right on the mouth. His son, the son that consumed his thoughts, the son that He had been waiting for so long was limping home. The son, slop crusted on his darkened face with a putrid smell looked at his father, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

But the father ignored what his prodigal son said and quickly interrupted him. He looked back with joy in his eyes and said, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!”

So they began to celebrate.

This same son, years earlier, was given money by his father, left to a far off country, and spent it all on whores. Prostitutes. Sex. He ran out of money and was reduced to wanting to eat just a morsel of pig slop. The father knew this fact as his prodigal son came limping over the hill. However, all of these mistakes were forgotten because the father’s love overrode any other thing. The father called His son “Beloved.” before anything else.

This story is a perfect representation of how Jesus welcomes us home daily. With open arms.

 Jesus is that father at the cross country meet that waits patiently for you to run the track and gets giddy and jumps up and down and claps his hands when you run over the hill. Jesus is that father that, no matter how many times you puke all over yourself, takes you and gives you a bath and wraps you in a warm towel, calling you his beloved. Jesus is that father that sees you trip and fall and get trampled and runs to pick you up and kisses your bruises and scars. And it’s even hard for me to believe this sometimes.

After years and years of denying Jesus and blatantly dragging him through all of my sin, when I wanted to come home, I thought it was far too late. I thought I was too far gone, too dirty, too bad for any sort of saving. And when I heard this good and whole trust about God’s love, all I could say was: 

“Father, there is no way you can take a girl like me. I am too dirty. I am soaked in sin. Nobody knows except for you, father. I am alone in this sin. I am too dirty. I am the dirtiest and most perverted girl in the world.”

 THEN, THEN! Jesus took my hand. He called me “his beloved daughter”.

 When Jesus saw me clearing the hill, He was WAITING ON ME. He was clapping, he was giddy, he started sprinting towards me. “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on her. Put a ring on her finger and sandals on her feet! Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this daughter of mine was dead and is alive again; she was lost and is found.”

 And the good news doesn’t stop. When we face our Father, our literal father in heaven, our heavenly father, he will greet us and hand us a white stone “inscribe with your new name, your secret new name.” (Revelation 2:17)

 Guys, Jesus has a new name for us. Our father has a new name for us. And when He calls us that name, it will resonate and it will be the sweetest sound we’ve ever heard.  

Jesus is our father.

Jesus is our father.

It is because of Jesus that we have been set free.

 The chains that have held us down have been axed away.

 The bricks that have weighed us down have been chiseled off brick by brick.

 I cannot ever get over the goodness of grace. I will never get over the goodness of grace.

 Jesus is good. Jesus is good. Jesus is good even when you are broken. Jesus is good even when you have been broken. Jesus shines through a broken heart. When you are cut and bleeding on the shower floor, Jesus picks you up. When you are in your car and crying and cannot get out, Jesus has his hand on yours. When you are on the phone hearing the news about your dad, Jesus has you in his arms. We are dripping in sin. Jesus wipes it clean.

 He is good. He is so good. Jesus traces my cuts. Jesus heals it all. Jesus is our real father. Jesus is our father.

How great your love is, Father, to love us just like this. 

Instagram: childishkelbino // Twitter: @kelliejobaxter

Hi! I’m Kellie Baxter. I’m from Amarillo, TX, a cattle-surrounded town in smack-dab middle of the panhandle of Texas, but Stillwater, OK has been my second home for nearly two years now! I go to Oklahoma State University and am double-majoring in Agricultural Communications and Agribusiness (go pokes).  When I’m not with friends, you can usually find me rollerblading through the alleys of Stillwater, trying to memorize rap songs (I’m serious), watching Wes Anderson movies, making up dance moves, or writing for my personal blog (kelliejordanbaxter.wordpress.com). I believe that Jesus is most revealed through two things: nature and people. The purest moments when I see Jesus is when people are vulnerable and admit that they are undoubtedly broken. That is beautiful. I see nothing but Jesus when looking at a flower or driving on a dirt road or even sitting in the quiet and looking into the hazy sky. That, too, is beautiful. I am passionate about trying to put that beauty into words.