Having dismissed his father as already in the grave, he pocketed his inheritance, split from home, and headed for the fast life. With lots of money he attracted many freeloaders, who happily helped him waste his fortune, then abandon him in his poverty. When tragedy struck. A famine devoured the nation, disrupting the economy, destroying the food supply, displacing the work force. In desperation, he took a job feeding pigs. No one else would do it. Even the pig fodder was denied him. He had played the fool, and now suffered for his folly.
“When he came to his senses.” He saw the family home he had forsaken. He heard the friendly chatter of the servants. He smelled the baking in the kitchen. He tasted the abundant food on the tables. He touched the empty stomach that gnawed with hunger pains. And he came to his senses.
Back home, his father waited. His son was out of sight, but not out of mind. He remembered the day he was born, the times spent together on the farm, the thoughts of the boy’s future. He remained steadfast in hope.
He was beyond touch, but not beyond feeling. Although wronged and rejected, his heart reached out in love. He could not deny his fatherhood. His heart was open to love.
He was too far to be heard, but not past listening. He remembered hearing “Daddy!” He recalled his happy laughter. He knew his voice. He would hear it again.
“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.”
Our Heavenly Father waits to receive each one who has strayed, and lovingly welcome them home.
Submitted by: Gord Gooderham