So I stand and wait, watching the horizon for a sign.
On the brink of the afternoon sun reaching the crown of its arch a figure approached. Gradually characteristics clarified and I recognized the individual as my youngest son. He was now bearded and his hair was uncut. He looked to be overly thin and sickly. My old tired legs carried me down the hill as fast as they were able. He fell into my embrace and began to spout off a litany of apologies. He claimed himself unworthy to be called my son.
My heart broke, as I knew it would, as he cried and begged for forgiveness. I led him back to our home and beckoned one of my servants. "Take care of him," I said with a joy filled heart. "Bathe him and give him fresh clothing. Tonight we are going to feast and celebrate. Take one of our finest calves and slaughter it. Today is the day I have prayed for. My prayer has been answered. This family of mine is whole once again."
Now as the evening neared my eldest son came out of the fields after a hard day's labor. He was a hard and trustworthy worker, my reliable one. "What is this I hear," he asked, "about my brother who left with half the value of your holdings and now returns a pauper?"
"My son has returned... your brother."
"I don't understand this father," he continued. "This son of yours has sinned against all that you represent. He returns after spending your wealth on gambling and prostitutes and you welcome him back with open arms, with no conditions. You have never thrown a party for me... for any purpose. I have slaved for you without complaint. What have I received in return?"
"Please understand," I said with great sadness. "Your brother was lost and has now been found. He was dead and has come back to life. What I have is always yours... everything. There is no need of envy. Your brother has sought forgiveness. I have prayed for his return... and now we celebrate that my prayer has been answered."
|Rembrandt - Return of the Prodigal Son|
copyright 2016 - Donald P James Jr