Forgiveness is a valuable commodity these days.
Offense. Pain. Hurt.
But whatever might be the cause, forgiveness is something of a great need.
Ernest Hemingway wrote a book entitled Capital of the World. He told a story of a father and his son named Paco had been estranged for some reason.
As a result, Paco ran away from home. No one could really say why he ran away. Perhaps he didn’t, but was kicked out of his home by his father for something foolish that he said or did.
Either way, Paco found himself wandering the streets of Madrid, Spain hoping to enter into a profession that would most likely get him killed – bullfighting. Those who train under a mentor have a good chance of surviving this profession, but Paco’s memory of his mistakes and guilt over what happened blindly drove him to this one way street to suicide.
But that was the last thing his father wanted, which is why he tried something desperate which he desperately hoped would work. There was little to no chance that he would be able to find Paco by wandering the streets of Madrid , so instead he put an announcement in the local newspaper El Liberal.
The advertisement read,
“Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana at noon on Tuesday.
All is forgiven!
At the time of the meeting, when Paco’s father got to the Hotel, he wasn’t prepared for what he was about to see. Because Paco was such a common name in Spain (a nickname for Francisco), the next day at noon, there were 800 young men with the same name waiting for their fathers – waiting for the forgiveness they thought they would receive that day.
If we needed education, God would’ve sent a teacher.
If we needed finances, God would’ve sent a businessman.
If we needed technology, God would’ve sent a scientist.
But God knew that our greatest need was forgiveness.
That’s why He sent His Son.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Thanks be to God that forgiveness is available through Christ.
If you’re reading this and you’re saying, “That’s me! I’m that Paco. And I have walked away from my Heavenly Father,” know that He will never turn you away. He said that a broken and contrite heart, He will never turn away. (Ps. 51:17).
You can pray this prayer now…
“Heavenly Father, I know that I have disobeyed and walked away from You. I now realize that You love me and continue to love me in spite of my disobedience. I am sorry and I repent from my ways. I hear your voice inside my heart and I am responding to Your call to come home. I receive You into my life. Please by my Lord, Master, Savior, Redeemer and Forgiver. I give my life to you. Help me to live for You from this day forward. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.”
Here are a few of the photos for Ignite Day 1.
Photo Credit: Ignite Facebook Page
More photos here.