Prodigal son drawing by Rembrandt, Wikimedia commons
Dear Father: How it must crush you when I turn my back on you and walk away.
How you must weep when you see me disappear over a far horizon
to squander my life in a distant country.
Thank you that although I have sometimes left home,
I have never left your heart.
Though I have forgotten about you,
you have never forgotten about me.
Thank you for the financial crisis or the famine or the pigsty
or whatever it took to bring me to my senses.
And thank you that even though what brought me home
were pangs of hunger instead of pangs of conscience,
yet still, even on those terms, you welcome me back.
Thank you for the forgiveness and the restoration you have lavished on me –
me, the one who needed them most but deserved them least.
I confess that there is inside me not only the prodigal son,
but also a critical older brother.
How dutiful I have sometimes been,
and yet so proud of the duties I have done.
How generous I have been in my opinion of myself,
and yet so judgmental in my opinion of others.
How often I have entered into criticism,
and yet how seldom I have entered into your joy.
Gather both the prodigal part of myself and the critical part of myself
in your loving arms, O Lord. And bring them home.
Ken Gire, American author and speaker
‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found.’
So they began to celebrate.