Unabashed Love (by Kristen Mellott Parker)

“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” Proverbs 20:6

My oldest son had played a particularly great soccer game. As he was walking across the field following the game, he was scanning the crowd for a familiar face. As our eyes met, he started to run toward me – and I toward him (which I must say is not something I typically do, however my emotions and excitement for him overcame me and I couldn’t wait to give him a hug).

However, as soon as I took my second step, he stopped cold in his tracks and glanced around. It’s one thing if he runs to me, but apparently it makes a difference if I run toward him. I kept running until I reached him and embraced him in a big bear hug. He kind of rolled his eyes (he’s only 8 so he hasn’t fully perfected the eye-roll, however he does practice it often). And he said, “Mooooom…” in a “how-could-you-do-that-you’re embarrassing-me-in-front-of-the-team” kind of voice.

I truly had not meant to offend or embarrass him, and always try to be sensitive to it. Moments like these had happened previously, but in this instance, I was surprised at the sting I felt of his rejection. How much more does it pain our Heavenly Father when we claim to love him, yet aren’t willing to profess it, show it, claim it, own it, or live it when others “might see?”

I know that my son loves me, and I know that parental embarrassment is just part of growing up. Most people, at some point in their lives, have gone through a period in which they are mortified by anything their parents do. And in much the same way, many people love Christ but are embarrassed by Him; in contrast to our earthly fathers (and mothers), we could go through life and never have to claim our Heavenly Father to the outside world.

Granted, we are all human, we are all sinful, and we all fall short – I know that I do, multiple times each day. As believers in Christ, we are presented – often – with opportunities to profess our faith with our words, thoughts, and actions – and often we fail. We shy away when Christ is “running” toward us – we back off, we stop cold, we glance around to see if anyone’s looking.

My son’s actions, by the way, belied his words and eye-rolling. Unabashed, he hugged me and then grabbed my hand and held it, all the way to the car. He realized that he didn’t care who saw him.

So the real question is this – if you are truly a believer and love the Lord, why are you embarrassed by Him? Why don’t you want people to know that He is your Savior? How are you going to fulfill your mission as a Christian if you can’t talk about Christ, show his love, grace, mercy and compassion to others? Being a Christian is not just about what you do on a Sunday morning – it is about your words, thoughts and actions all the time. So take Christ’s hand and walk with Him, unashamed.

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