I’m going to talk about how my Mom reminds me of, and teaches me something about, God.

I don’t remember when, but well into my adult years, my six siblings and I were all together. We were talking about many things – and by that time we were all parents. Mom was with us, and she shared something I’ll never forget. She said: I only had one goal as a parent. And that was to make sure that each of you knew that no matter where you were, or what you had done, you knew my door was always open to you.”

I’ve never forgotten that.

She did well. All seven of her children know that there’s nothing we can do that would keep Mom from both loving us and welcoming us back. It’s not like we haven’t tried. All of us have done things we are not proud of – no need to start listing them here. Sure, at times we angered, even disappointed Mom. Dealing with her anger was one thing – dealing with her disappointment was far worse.

But the anger and the disappointment never hid the love.

And that’s how Mom reminds me of, and teaches me something about, God.

In my faith tradition, we have a line we use. As I travel across the country and worship with churches in settings all over the place, I hear this line over and over and over again. It reads: No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.

We say that because we have experienced the grace of a God who, throughout our life, welcomes us back with loving arms. We say that because we believe in our bones that the God we worship never stops loving us. We say that because we have felt the raw power of shame we heap upon ourselves – only then to experience the voice of a loving God who says ‘Welcome home.’ I love you, not because I don’t know what you have done, but because I have not forgotten who you are.’

We are, by the way, God’s beloved.

We bear the image and likeness of our Creator.

We harbor within us the spirit of the living God.

We inherently possess dignity, worth, and value.

And while on our journey we travel paths that can lead to a distancing in our relationship with our Creator – we are always welcome home.

Like a good Mom, like my Mom, God’s love endures. It abides in and through and beyond choices we make. It restores unto us the healing that only comes from knowing the one who gave us life continues to take pride in who we are – often long after we stopped believing about ourselves that was even possible.

So, gentle traveler, stop periodically on your sojourn and check in with your Creator. Discover a love that abides no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey. Acquaint yourself again with one whose door remains always open to receive you. And never forget that you are beloved child of God walking weary and winding roads that all lead back home on this, your journey Into the Mystic.