“I will never leave you”

Yesterday I got to visit the Kalamazoo Nature Center with my son on a school field trip. I was surprised by an art exhibit by Charley Harper. I had never seen his work before but he does story book type art of nature.  I LOVE cardinals, they have been a symbol of a kiss from Jesus for me for a few years now.  Charley does great cardinals!

Cardinal Close Up-Charley Harper

Cardinal Close Up-Charley Harper

One of his works is of a cardinal perched on a polar bear’s head.  I asked the lady who was teaching the kids about the art if cardinals are actually found in the same habitat as a polar bear.  She said “well, they stay here in all year round, but I don’t know if they are actually found where polar bears live.”

Scary Scenario-Charley Harper

Scary Scenario-Charley Harper

Bear with me (no pun intended) this may not make much sense at first.  But when I renewed my relationship with Christ I was a teenager going into my senior year in high school.  One message that Jesus began to speak to my heart was from Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you or forsake you.”  Another assurance He spoke to me was John 14:2 “I’m going to prepare a place for you.”  I grew up without my Dad because of a divorce.  I think that I viewed God as a Father that would leave me, that I couldn’t count on, that I couldn’t trust, because of the unmet longing I had for my Dad to be a part of my life.

Last night I listened to the entire book “Heaven is for Real.” I was amazed by the images that Colton shared of heaven in the book.  My thoughts drifted to God, to how much He loves us, but I felt a sadness inside too.  Then my thoughts drifted to the day, seeing Charley’s artwork, the Cardinals, the kisses from Jesus, and the comment the lady made “They stay all year round”  And Jesus whispered “that’s another reason why the cardinal is a significant sign of me in your life, it stays through every season, I stay through every season, through your coldest days….I will NEVER leave you or forsake you.

Tears, healing, love.  What an awesome God who speaks to us in whispers, through artists, through nature, through people.  He does love us, He’ll never leave us and He is preparing a place just for us.

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