“Loving Eyes”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Saturday, August 6, 2022 comes to us from Rutman Lumbantoruan of North Sumatra, Indonesia.

11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. 13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.' 20 So he got up and went to his father. "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. 21 "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. 25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' 28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gav e me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' 31 " 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' " Luke 15:11-32 NIV


Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV

 

“Loving Eyes”


Twice each day I spread rice on the roof of the house to feed the wild birds. The birds gather around to eat and then return later in the evening. One morning while I was sweeping, I noticed a bird with a wounded wing. I brought him into the house to treat his wing, and I gave him a bowl of rice and some water. I watched as the bird ate, though he was clearly in pain. It made me realize that the Lord also looked at me when I was lost and in pain.


God looked at me with loving eyes and helped heal my wounds. After a week of care, the bird was finally able to flap his wings, although he still couldn’t fly. I had to help him join the other birds to eat on the roof. The next day, when I went up to check on him, he was gone. As I looked for him, I heard his singing from the roof. He could fly! Joy and pride filled my heart and gave me a small taste of what the Lord must feel when we return to God’s ways.

 

Friends –

Although hands-on caring for animals is not one of my skills, I truly admire those who have that gift. I have a friend about whom I say, “If they have four legs and fur, she will feed them.” And I know that this ability to focus on all God’s creatures is a special gift from God. Do you have a special heart for God’s animal creatures, or do you know someone who has that gift? The heart that cares for these creatures is truly a special gift from God.

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

Loving God, thank you for the way you look at us with love and help us get back on your path. Amen.

--Rutman Lumbantoruan


Prayer Focus:

Those who care for animals.


Thought for the Day:

God looks at me with love and cares for me.