During Benjamin’s first month at home I was in a fog, trying to get into a rhythm with our brand new life and my brand new schedule. Our little baby slept most of the time, largely due to the three holes in his heart that had yet to be repaired. I would often have to wake him up just to get him to eat. I wanted interaction with my son in addition to our nursing times, so every day for the first few weeks I would lay him on a boppy pillow on my lap and read to him. He would often fall back asleep or quietly look around, but I cherished the time.
During Shawn’s and my dating years, we were introduced to an amazing children’s book trilogy (Tales of the Kingdom; Tales of the Resistance; Tales of the Restoration) by David and Karen Mains. Each book contains a collection of stories that are rich with allegory about the Kingdom of God, expressing His heart with creativity and excellence. In the first book Tales of the Kingdom the subjects of the King (Jesus) live in Great Park, tended by Caretaker (Holy Spirit) and His wife Mercie. On a regular basis, the people of Great Park come together for the Great Celebration—a night of feasting and festivity and fellowship with the King. In addition, the children regularly enjoy a day of fun and games called “Sighting Day.” On this day, the King appears all around Great Park in many different disguises, and the children try to recognize Him in whatever appearance He comes. Afterward, they spend the rest of the day playing together. It was while reading the story called “Sighting Day” to Benjamin in those early weeks, that I experienced an unexpected embrace from the Lord. While so much of that season is a fog in my mind, this particular memory stands out clearly.
As I neared the end of the story (which I had read many times before), I came to the part where Caretaker and a young boy visit Outcast Village, a place reserved for those who had been wounded in the evil Enchanted City, and desperately needed Mercie’s tender care. The following paragraph resonated in the core of my being, and the tears began to fall:
Caretaker explained that on Sighting Day many outcasts were unable to play the game of hunting the King. Some were wounded. Some were blinded. Others were mending from their diseases. Instead the King came to them. He sang songs and told stories. He wove moonlight and the warm night and all good things together until the hearts of the outcasts were comforted because the King had been among them (underline mine).
It’s hard to express the tender love and comfort that poured into my heart at that moment. I knew that I was one of the deeply wounded ones without the strength and energy to seek the King. Regardless of my present state, though, in His compassion King Jesus promised to come to me.
Since that day He’s come to me in many ways, sometimes in the disguise of another person, an event, a song, a still, small voice…Sometimes He comes to me in a profound way that thrills and comforts my heart; often He comes in simple ways that I may not even always perceive. Many times He doesn’t come in ways I would expect or would even have chosen. Regardless of how He chooses to come, though, the point is that He comes. He is faithful. And the more Jesus comes to me in my brokenness, the more quickly I run to Him as I experience pain. He is my safe place.
And so the boy (or girl!) discovered that seek-the-King is a wonderful game. Like all games it must be played with a child’s heart, which believes and is always prepared to be surprised, because a King can wear many disguises.