The Day I Ran Away from Home

You take my hand. And one hand guides me. 

“Dear Jesus,” I whisper …

Do you remember that time I ran away from home? You do. I know you do. I was just an itty bitty thing, only in elementary school. I can’t believe I still remember it. But I do.

You take one step forward, and I follow.

My sister and I decided to run away from home. We didn’t have a good reason. My older sister thought it was a brainy idea, to the best of my recollection, and I followed.

We collected our baby stroller, our baby dolls, a little food and drink, and walked out the door as the sky was dusking. Mama even helped us pack, gave us hugs, and watched as we headed down our quiet neighborhood street pushing our baby strollermy sister’s hands on one side of the handle, mine on the other. 

As we neared the end of our street, we realized we had nowhere to go. We found ourselves surrounded by darkness and loneliness. Would we turn the street corner and continue on or head straight into the forest facing us? Neither choice seemed like a good option. Desperate, we looked behind us to see Mama, with the porch light on, up on the hill, watching us, beckoning us to come home.

We immediately turned around, with all our baggage, and ran back as fast as our little legs could carry us. 

You twirl me away from you.
Thank you for Mama. Because she taught us a valuable lesson that day. Oh, she wouldn’t have let us go far. She was waiting for us to see that we had no place to run but to her arms, where we were loved and safe.

You twirl me back in to you.

Jesus, the same incomparably comparable thing happened to you. Didn’t it? I’ve heard your stories. And I believe every one. 

You step to the side, and I follow.

Your Father let you go down the road for a while, as you carried your cross to the hill. And the light was turned off for three days. 

Three days.

I can’t even begin to imagine.

Your Father watched. He never lost sight of you. 

And then something beautiful happened. Something miraculous. Your Father turned on the porch light. He beckoned you home. And you rose from the grave. Nothing could keep you from home, from your Father, from me.

You take a step back, and I follow.

That day Ia little fair-skinned, blond-headed girlwalked down the street, on 1524 Milam Drive in Tyler, Texas, I’m so glad my sister turned around to go home, so that I could follow. But one thing I’ve learnedthere comes a time when we have to make our own decisions. Our own decisionto go home.

You step to the side, and I follow.

I haven’t always followed you the way I should have. My bucket of regrets from my youth is deep. What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking. I followed after things and people I knew were wrong. They weren’t you. It felt like I died a slow death, and some days it feels like I’m still trying to dig and scrape my way out of the dirt, out of the open grave.

You step forward, and I follow.

But you, Jesus. Thank you for being the Light, my light. Thank you for your outstretched arms. For being my safe place. For giving me a place called home, a place to call home, a place to run to. For braving the dark and lonely for me. For loving me. Thank you for your testimony and for giving me one. 

You dip me, and I laugh. Your grip on me is strong. You lift me back steady on my feet.

You place your face to mine, and I whisper, “Dear Jesus” …

You are one decision I’ll never forget, one I’ll never regret.

Through the good and the hard, thank you for this beautiful dance.

Happy Easter. What are you most thankful for this Easter? Did you ever see the movie The Passion of the Christ? I remember the first time I saw it, I walked away thinkingwhat can I do for you, Jesus? Do you remember what played through your mind?

12 thoughts on “The Day I Ran Away from Home

  1. Have a Blessed Easter Shelli. The Passion was a very difficult movie to watch, especially when we consider that we are responsible for Christ's suffering. I remember sitting in the theater at the end of the movie and nobody moved…the audience sat quietly for what seemed like 5 – 10 minutes. The thought of it still brings me to silence.


  2. I know, Gene. I remember that. And I remember the day it dawned on me that “I” was responsible. If I were the only person on this Earth, He would have still had to die … for me, for my sin. That is something to ponder. Ugh. Thank you, Gene.


  3. I will never look at a porch light the same! What a beautiful picture. I have thought of watching The Passion again, but I'm not sure I could–too real, too awful. But where would we be without that horrible day?


  4. Shelli, such a beautiful post. Though I haven't run away from home, I've definitely run away from Jesus a time or two. When I think about all He gave up for me (and for for each of His creation), I am humbled. To know that He considered me worth dying a cruel death for, that He loves me/us that much? I am so humbled. I'm in awe of His absolute love for us.

    My sisters ran away from home once, about at the age of you and your sister.My dad followed after them, and took them out for ice-cream. Somehow I always wished I'd gone with them. 🙂

    I hope your Resurrection Day is joy-filled, my friend!


  5. Shelli, this took my breath away and watered my eyes. Yes, I remember what I thought when I saw The Passion movie. I saw my sin as part of the reason Jesus was so bruised and bleeding. And now I think of His suffering each time I take communion. I'm grateful for His grace, for His love.
    Easter Blessings, dear friend xo ~ Wendy


  6. The first time I saw “The Passion of the Christ” was in a huge movie theater with my college friend Beth. She'd reserved tickets across town, so we were in on the hub-bub of when it first came out.

    Growing up in a Christian home and accepting Christ at a young age, I was familiar with Christ's sufferings on our behalf. That did impact me and lead to tears.

    However, my initial thoughts afterward were of thankfulness for the people who wrote, filmed, and created the movie–that Mel Gibson had the courage in liberal Hollywood to do so. Yes, Gibson has his faults, as we all do. I grew irritated with those who criticized the movie in any way. Why? Because people saw it. It made them think. Someone who'd never heard the Christ story was exposed to it and may have questioned more and investigated. Who knows how the truths expressed in the movie impacted those who acted the parts.

    The depiction of Satan stirred me the most. Creepy. Scary. But the curtain ripped. We have access to our risen Savior. He won.

    My dear online writing friend, Shelli, Happy Easter. And with the uncertainty in our world today, I'll see you in the clouds.


  7. Yes, you will, Melodie. It's going to be sweet one day … really sweet. And yes … the depiction of Satan was super creepy … he is super creepy. Has to be. And I can't help but love Mel Gibson … yes, he was so brave and did an amazing job. He's so human, so full of faults like us all … praise God for a Savior! 🙂 xoxo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s