My Dear Child,
Since before you were born, I’ve loved you.
You were my delight, my pride and joy. I would sit and watch you and smile and laugh. I looked forward to being with you. I enjoyed you so much. I just could not do enough for you.
I cared for you day and night. You were always on my mind and on my heart. When you were sick, I felt your pain and nursed you back to health. When you fell, I would lift you in my arms and hug you and gently kiss you.
But the more I loved you, the more you resisted my love. The more I cared for you, the more you resented me. The more I did for you, the less you trusted me.
I taught you to walk, and you chose to walk away from me. I shaped your young mind. I carefully fed it and nurtured it. But you became proud, and in your youthful ignorance you found me foolish and old-fashioned.
You took everything I gave you and turned it against me.
But still I loved you and did all I could to help you. I saw trouble coming. I tried to warn you–sometimes gently, sometimes in desperation, as shouting to one standing in front of an oncoming truck: “Look out! Get out of the way!” But you took my warnings as intrusions, as selfish attempts to “run your life.”
The trouble came–the incredible hurt, the destruction, the shattered relationships. Believe me, being right brought me no joy. I suffered it all with you.
I still see trouble coming. But I can’t help you…not unless you let me…not unless you help yourself.
A parent’s grief for a lost child has no comfort, no consolation, except one. It’s hope–hope that the child will somehow just come back.
Come back, child.
Please, come back.
God, Your Father
(based on Hosea 11:1-11)