Looking into her luminous eyes, I said, “I’ve missed you, and it’s so good to talk with you again.” I meant those words far more deeply than she could know. I met her a few years ago, and it seemed God had given us a special connection that resulted in me having the privilege of mentoring her for a time. But months had passed in which we had not had any real interaction. Yes, I saw her from a distance almost every day, but it seemed she had been avoiding me. I missed her. Missed hearing about growth in her relationship with the Lord. Missed opportunities to pray with her and point her to Jesus. Missed fellowshipping with her. And I was disappointed. Disappointed in myself. Wondered what had happened, wondered where I had failed her.
But yesterday we talked, and it was just like old times. She shared her joys and her sorrows with me, and we prayed together. I felt I had been given a gift, and I cherished our time. As we finished our conversation, I told her I had missed her, and I told her how special it was for me to spend time with her again.
Then she said it. And when she said it, I understood. I understood her, I understood myself, and I understood a bit more of God’s heart. In beautiful humility she said, “Oh, sister, somehow when my heart is far away from God, I don’t want to be with you either. But when I am walking closely with God, I am thinking I want to see and talk with you, too.”
Her transparent words took away my pain and grieved me all at once. Her words diffused my hurt in thinking I had failed her, because I understand what it means to be burdened and deceived by guilt. Our time of distance was not caused by failure on my part. But her words grieved me because in them, I caught a glimpse of the heart of God. I saw His longing for me in my longing for her.
When I’m not walking in step with God, when I surrender to pride, unforgiveness, anger, or other sins, my natural response is to retreat further into myself and away from the light of His presence. Could it be that God in Heaven, the Creator of the Universe, the All-Sufficient One, could it be that sometimes He misses me too? Could it be that He misses you?
“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” Isaiah 44:22