What Brings Us Home
Reflections on the Prodigal Son
With the coming of Father’s Day I have been waiting for a story, waiting and not realizing that I already have one. Only it is not a story for me to write but to read and to listen to. As timeless as its truths, this story perfect as he who told it, never tires, never wearies, never grows old.
Most of us, if we think about it, are on a journey either aimed toward home or leaving home. It’s the coming home that makes me pause and ponder as I read this handful of words spoken long ago by a young preacher on the dusty streets of Jerusalem.
The story, woven in red, is of a young man, a father, a brother, the recklessness of youth, selfish passions, the patience of love and tender mercies.
“And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.”
How so like most of us, the young man only wanted to belong to himself and to shake off the memories of being his father’s son.
“And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”
Was this young man so different than most of us in this way either? Or his father different than our father who watches with sad and prayerful eyes as we disappear over the crest of the hill on the highway leading us away? And when he waved his last goodbye was there a tear in his eye, or like us did he just hurry on his way?
“And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks and that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself…….. and he arose and came to his father.
And like the young man we come home too, most of us, and like the young man it is not for food to satisfy our hunger, the food mama has on the table for Sunday dinner. But rather it is for what can be only found at home, love from a father who let us go our own way all the while not knowing if or when we would ever return.
“But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him…….”
His father saw him. His father was watching like our father, waiting and watching long after our shadows have grown small and we are but memories, laughter in the wind.
What brings us home is a mystery older than time though it can be said with one simple word.
It is a lost and dying world….share a little love and Happy Father’s Day.
Edward Reed 2019