Unconditional Love

A man was commissioned to paint a picture of the Prodigal Son. He approached his work fervently, laboring to produce a picture worthy of telling the story. Finally, the day came when the picture was complete, and he unveiled the finished painting. The scene was set outside the father’s house, and showed the open arms of each as they were just about to meet and embrace. The man who commissioned the work was well pleased, and was prepared to pay the painter for his work, when he suddenly noticed a detail that he had missed.

Standing out in the painting above everything else in the scene was the starkly apparent fact that the father was wearing one red shoe and one blue shoe. He was incredulous. How could this be, that the painter could make such an error? He asked the painter, and the man simply smiled and nodded, assuring the man, “Yes, this is a beautiful representation of the love of God for His children.”

“What do you mean?” he asked, puzzled.

“The father in this picture was not interested in being color-coordinated or fashion-conscious when he went out to meet his son. In fact, he was in such a hurry to show his love to his son, he simply reached and grabbed the nearest two shoes that he could find.

“He is the God of the Unmatched Shoes.”

That’s a beautiful story, isn’t it? I happened to come across it the other day and wanted to share it with you this morning. Especially if you had a difficult week. Maybe you feel that you didn’t belong or fit in at work or at home. Perhaps a former “friend” spoke negatively about you. Or you had a bitter disagreement with a family member.

Here’s some good news for you: There is nothing you can do to change the way God feels about you. The Creator of the universe loves you so much. He is crazy about you. Instead of spending time trying to win the hearts of people at home, at work, or in your neighborhood, consider the heart you have already won – the unparalleled heart of God.

The same heart that broke when His son bled on the cross beats for you. If you feel down and out this week, please don’t be too hard on yourself. If God, who loves you so much that you are the only you in a world of over 7 billion people, can accept your flaws, then why can’t you?

He loves you unconditionally. He loved you unconditionally before you were born. Let that sink in.

In His Name,

-Matt

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