I walked hand in hand with my father through the fields of innocent daisies.  Just out of my reach I saw a single sparkling Fantasy flower.  I held tight to my father’s hand and leaned as far as I could, but the flower danced just out of my reach. 

I asked my father for the flower, but he just shook his head and said, “No”.  I begged, I cried,  I pouted, but he remained firm.  Why would he deny me something so beautiful?  I couldn’t imagine why he didn’t want me to have it. 

I pulled my hand from his and took the one step away from him I needed to reach out and pick the sparkling flower.  It swayed to and fro teasing me, but not for long, it took just a moment to grasp the flower and make it mine.  The moment I picked it, it exploded like a fire cracker into a million little sparkles, dying and spreading its seeds on the ground around my feet.  I was sad for a moment, but instantly the seeds sprang up into more Fantasy flowers.  I picked them by the handful even though they died the moment I picked them.  I was mesmerized watching them explode before they fell and then watching them immediately grow into more flowers. 

A few hours later the sun hung lower in the sky.  By now there wasn’t a daisy in sight.  The field I stood in sparkled as far as I could see with the Fantasy flowers.  I turned around looking for my father, but I couldn’t see him.  I brushed off a moment of sadness and reveled in my new-found freedom as I danced through my fields of Fantasy flowers.

The sun moved closer to the horizon and disappeared over the edge.  It was colder now and I missed my cozy, warm bed.  I could picture my father climbing the stairs towards his bedroom. 

Instead of pulling my covers up under my chin I picked some of the flowers and made a bed.  I twisted and turned as the dried stems scratched my skin.  I couldn’t wait for the sun to rise, I couldn’t even see my hand when I waved it in front of my face.  The night was miserable and I looked forward to dancing through the flowers again. 

I managed a few more moments of sleep and opened my eyes to the sky turning pink.  I sat up ready for another day of freedom.  But, the sun didn’t reflect off a field of sparkling flowers, all I saw were dried up flower stalks.  I jumped up and picked them, spreading the seeds all around me.  Nothing happened.  I desperately grabbed the stalks by the handfuls and rained the seeds to the ground, I even dug little holes for them, but I had no water to pour on them.  I tried a little rain dance,  still no rain, but a few of the seeds sprang up into prickly thistles. 

I sank to the ground with tears of remorse rolling down my face.  I had traded the sweet innocence of fields of daisies for fields of dried up flowers and thistles.  I wiped the tears from my eyes and scanned the horizon hoping to catch a glimpse of my father.  Nothing.  Why would he be here?  He lived in the field of daisies, I was the one who had wandered away. 

My crying turned to sobs and the thistles mocked me.  “You’re father hates you.  You ran away from him, why would he want you back?  You’re all dirty and covered in stickers.”  I tried to clean myself up to go home, but I didn’t have any water and when I touched the stickers to pull them out they just burrowed themselves even deeper. 

Exhausted and frustrated by my efforts I finally just cried myself to sleep whimpering for my daddy over and over.  I had just dozed off when I felt a hand on my shoulder.  I opened my eyes and saw my father.  He pulled wash cloths and water out of his bag and wiped away the dirt and stickers.  After he cleaned me up he reached into his bag again and brought out sandwiches, chips and juice.  We ate lunch together just like yesterday had never happened. 

I felt new energy course through my veins and stood up.  I reached for my father’s hand ready to walk home with him.  He brushed it aside and picked me up, carrying me home to His fields of innocent daisies.

Doesn’t he…….go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home.  Luke 15:4-6

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