Maerie blinked each time Haydren referred to them by their proper names, but said nothing. Of course she had hoped Haydren would not grow up knowing he was an orphan, but the Earl’s discovery of his existence had shattered that hope. The least she wished for now was for them to be seen by Haydren as his parents; clearly, that had not happened yet.
“Of course,” she said, her smile as persistent as her love. “Mickel hasn’t gone to the towers yet. I’m sure he would love to see you.”
—By Ways Unseen, Chapter 5 – Visits
“…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37b
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Our earthly parents are not perfect, and some are certainly less perfect than others. So understanding this level of persistent, patient love may be as foreign to you as the Mariana Trench. And yet we are reminded over and over that he loves us, cares for us, and only wants us to call him Abba, Father (Romans 8:15).
There is much misunderstanding around this love, too; that, to be a Christian, is to be boring, stuffy, bound by rules, judgmental, condemning… Do we think that is why Maerie wants Haydren to call her ‘mom’? Why the hen wants her chicks gathered under her wing? That God only desires that you do not perish? In fact, our Romans 8 passage in whole says: “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
Haydren is consumed with finding his parents, of establishing his lineage, hoping if he can do that, maybe the other kids at school will respect him. We might say he is a slave to this desire—and it keeps him from living in fullness of joy for most of the story. Unable to let go and be free, and so focused on what he does not have, he consistently ignores and is ungrateful for what he has been given.
Recognizing and accepting Maerie and Mickel as his parents will not grant him a lot of land or money—they are struggling much to survive as well—but it would have brought him the peace he so desperately wanted. We, too, may not seem to inherit much when we accept Christ as our brother and God as our father—certainly not a lot of fame or riches—but we just might find some peace from our desperate search for love and forgiveness. He’s waiting, and He is patient—and, above all, He wishes to shelter you, set you free from fear, and prepare an inheritance for you among the saints.