And every parent, or grandparent, gets it. For, from the days our little ones were babes, they held a special and tender place in our hearts. In fact, our hearts were so full of love for them that we simply couldn’t contain it. And when they were younger we didn’t have to. We just couldn’t keep our lips from their cheeks. And we didn’t just kiss them once, we kissed them much.
But somewhere along the line they grew up. Somewhere along the line they stopped being like little children, and kissing them much was not acceptable anymore. And it left a void in our hearts. It made us get creative, and learn how to “kiss them much” in other ways. But every now and then something happens, an event or a circumstance comes along—a victory, an achievement, and accomplishment, a graduation, a wedding—and allows us the permission to kiss them much once again.
I wonder how long it had been since the lost son had allowed his father to kiss him much. Who knows, it might even have been a part of the reason he left in the first place. Not because the father didn’t want to kiss him much, but because somewhere along the line the son stopped being willing to allow it.
It makes me wonder if it is the same way with us and God. I wonder if, buried deep in the heart of our God, there is still an intense longing to kiss us much, but somehow we have gotten too old to think it’s still appropriate. Perhaps that is even part of what Jesus meant when he told us that we must become like little children. Perhaps God’s deepest desire is that we recapture the beauty and the innocence of allowing him to kiss us much. Because something tells me that if we were able to recapture than innocence, it would change everything about us.