In the mythic story of the Lion and the King, the lion cub Simba is separated in his youth from his father in his youth through a murder engineered by his uncle, Scar, the character symbolizing the evil one in our story. Scar arranges for the cub to be caught in a stampede of wildebeests, knowing that his father Mufasa will risk his life to save his son. He does, and Simba is saved, but Mufasa is killed. Scar then turns on Simba accuses him, at such a vulnerable and desperate moment, of causing his father’s death. Brokenhearted, frightened, racked with guilt, Simba runs away from home.
This is the enemy’s one central purpose – to separate us from the Father. He uses neglect to whisper, You see – no one cares. You’re not worth caring about. He uses a sudden loss of innocence to whisper, This is a dangerous world, and you are alone. You’ve been abandoned. He whispers to the spoiled child, Ask for money. They owe you. Your parents must pay for your love. And in this way, he makes it nearly impossible for us to know what Jesus knew, makes it so very, very hard to come home to the Father’s heart toward us. The details of each story are unique to the boy, but the effect is always a wound in the soul, and with it, separation from and suspicion of our Heavenly Father.
It’s been very effective.
But God is not willing to simply let that be the end of the story. Not in any of human life.
Remember what Jesus taught us about the Father’s heart in the parable of the lost son: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20, NIV). If he were a compassionate Palauan father, he would have run as fast as he could and say, “A chedil ngchebuul a ngelekek el mlo mengesuch e luuetal mer mei. Halle bo kusiueklii eng nglocha merur, e songerenger.” That’s a beautiful picture, but not many fathers in our culture would do that… let’s be honest. It would seem weak and unmanly. But our Father God, filled with compassion, will come like a loving father, and take us close to his heart. He also takes us back, to heal the wounds, finish things that didn’t get finished. He will come for the boy, the little girl, no matter how old they are and embrace them — His Beloved Children.
We can change our culture from fear to love — showing love and affection to our children and validate them merely because they exist. Not for what they do. Ironically, shame is covered by pride and arrogance. To maintain a family image by performing for love and approval makes them arrogant and proud children, to hide shame. It’s Catch 22… it’s complicated.
Imperfect but loved and forgiven child of God.

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