I can still remember cutting across the field to go to church when I was young. By the time I hit the middle, the ground had become mud, clinging to my tennis shoes, making it almost impossible to lift my foot for another step. I can remember the embarrassment and shame I felt after my mother sent me back home to change my shoes - by way of the road. I hadn't realized the field would be that wet as the edges were dry. I also didn't want to go back to face the people who had witnessed my error.
But, you know what I love most about our ABBA?
Even if we choose to not know Him. To go our own route and ending up covered in the muck of the world.
And still - He unconditionally Loves us.
It wasn't a slip of the tongue that Jesus mentioned Peter by name with the disciples.
And just as He woos and loves each of us, He also knows when we need encouragement, affirmation. He knows the times we are beating ourselves up, just as Peter did, how we need to know the gift of forgiveness, grace and mercy.
For many years I lived in the mud caked shoes, just as Peter did, denying I knew Christ. I was living in and for the world, even though I grew up hearing all He had done for me. I never accepted The gift of "Him" for myself. I never took it personal.
In the shoes of shame, doubt, regret, Peter was blinded to the fact Christ would still want to have Him in His arms again. How often do we put on those same shoes? These shoes, so caked in "mud", we are weighed down and feel we aren't going to make it. How often do we believe the lies over His unconditional, mind blowing, full out, LOVE?
This is why He knows each of us by name. This is why we are the most important part of His creation. This is why He calls out to each of us continually.
He desires nothing more than to be up close and personal. With each one of us.
He wants us to take off those shoes and run as fast as you can towards Him.