Parable of the ProdigalDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
At 2:45 a.m. on September 4, 2012, my wife and I arranged for my seventeen-year-old son to be transported to a therapeutic wilderness program in the desert of southern Utah. It seemed to us as parents that he was already squandering his life. This was our last chance to help him reach his potential as a member of our family.
One month later, Judi and I went to the remote mountains of Utah for our first parent visit. Our therapist pulled something out of the back of his truck. A bullroarer. The therapist said, “This is how we are going to find your son.” As I spun the bullroarer above my head, it produced an eerie low frequency sound that could be heard for miles. After a few minutes, I stopped and we listened. Out of the wilderness came a similar sound directed to us. It was my son using his bullroarer in an effort to find us. For 43 days, my son had been in the wilderness. We had prayed for him to come to his senses so that he could become the person God created him to be. The moment of truth was about to arrive.
As the sounds of our bullroarers drew us closer to a reunion, the anticipation grew. When we had visual contact, but while he was still a long way off, my wife was filled with compassion and she ran to him, threw her arms around him, and kissed him. I did the same. It was the best day of our lives.
Over the years in youth and family ministry, I have witnessed sons and daughters reject their fathers and mothers. Even in that immense pain of rejection, God still calls us to forgive. Furthermore, in this passage, God calls us to take the first steps to reconciliation with open arms.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:Is there a member of your family who has been lost and needs to be found? Who do you need to embrace with unconditional love and forgiveness? What steps can you take today to become more like the Father?
PRAYER: Loving God, we only have to look at the cross to remember the sacrifice you made for us. Jesus opened his arms fully for us that we might experience forgiveness and eternal life. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness that allows us to reconcile with you and all those around us. As we consider our own relationships today, help us to be like the Father and approach our family and friends with open arms of love and reconciliation. Amen.