The story is told (by Ernest Hemingway) of a father and his teenage son who had a relationship that had become strained to the point of breaking. Finally the son ran away from home. His father, however, began a journey in search of his son. Finally, in Madrid , in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in the newspaper. The ad read: “DEAR PACO, MEET ME IN FRONT OF THE NEWSPAPER OFFICE AT NOON . ALL IS FORGIVEN. I LOVE YOU. YOUR FATHER.”
The next day at noon in front of the newspaper office, 800 “Pacos” showed up….
I love this story because there are so many angles that can be used to compare our relationship with God. Many people, like this son, are on the run, not knowing that they have a Father who is searching for them. Think of all the people that we encounter in our lives who still have not experienced the love of God; they’re still running.
What is most amazing to me is the response to the newspaper ad itself. It is really a response to grace — a spark in the receiver’s heart that hopes restoration is possible. So many people are looking for grace.
Finally we have a father who wants the relationship between himself and his son to be mended — just like our heavenly Father, Who becomes the initiator and extends His hand to us. We have done nothing to deserve the grace He has made available to us all. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God stoops down to meet us at our point of need. Grace — it’s humbling and beautiful and incomprehensible and necessary all at once. Here are words of truth that we can all cling to and believe, “MEET ME. ALL IS FORGIVEN. I LOVE YOU. YOUR FATHER.”