Behind the Story of the Prodigal Son
Ah, the Prodigal Son. It can be said that a son left and a son returned. The rest is judgment. That the son lived his life as he saw fit, and later saw the error of his ways, this can be said to have been observed. This can be said without judgment. The son did recant his life. He did return to ask his father’s pardon.
It can also be said that another son didn’t leave. It can be said that another son stayed and did not depart from what the world would call a good life.
This parable speaks of the son’s Father Who reigns in Heaven.
Of course, I know that no son of Mine is lost. Others may think My son is lost. My son himself may think he is lost and then found, yet I know of no loss and, therefore, no found.
To Me, all My sons are equal.
From the world’s view, it is quite another story.
When the solid son stayed home, was he serving Me or himself? Was he seeking reward? What was he owed?
Is not the Prodigal Son everyone? Who has not wasted money or wasted food and who has not wasted some of his life on harrowing comparisons and judgment? Has not the good son also had lapses? Has not the good son wasted his heart on feeling self-righteous?
It can safely be said, that even as a profligate as a wastrel, as a drinker, as a waster of life, the Prodigal Son was greater than self-righteousness. Who can say what good the Prodigal Son did do even on the road taken that he would now reverse?
What lay behind the question: “Who is to cast the first stone?”
Judging is cold. One who drinks and cavorts in life may be the life of the party, or, he may seem like the life of the party, and yet not be enjoying. The good son may or may not be enjoying. What seems and what is may be two different stories.
The world judges. God loves.
Therefore, there is a celebration for the son who returns and the absence of a named celebration for the son who stayed. So enters the disparity of the world.
Why does the stolid son not rejoice for the return of his brother? Where is his hospitality? Cannot the heart of the stolid brother embrace his brother? Why does he tote up loss and debit?
In his heart, the stolid son pushes his brother away. What dwells in the heart of the stolid brother? What dwells in the heart of the son who returned?
What makes the stolid son feel underprivileged or discounted? If the heart of the son who stayed home is frozen, who froze it?
If a man is starving, would you make the hungry man wait before you set the table before him? What would you be waiting for?
Why do the good son’s thoughts revolve around counting? Why does he feel owed? The good son will also be fed at his brother’s celebration? In God’s house, there are not checks and balances as the world adds them up.
On the personal level, there is no leveling. There is no making something right. That is the good son’s view. That is one way of looking at a situation, but why look there? Why hold up unfairness before your eyes and before your heart?
The Prodigal Son, the errant son, got out of his past. Therefore he grew.
The stolid good son does not wear his Coat of Many Colors for the moment. Is the Good Son ego? For the moment, the stolid good son is holding on to the past. May the stolid son get beyond his hold on world perception and his perceived loss of position and, instead, be happy, if not for his brother, for his Father.
Why did Cain slay Abel?