The Prodigal son rose early…Thoughts from Luke 15

Actually, the night after he came to his senses the Prodigal son could not sleep.  He had never come to senses before — not like this.

He tossed and turned that night.  He felt dirty and stupid and embarrassed and incredibly lonely.  He got up at 1am and then 2am.  He was 21 years old — handsome and strapping and filthy and hopeless.  He stumbled around in the dark.  He went back to bed and lay there staring wide-eyed into the night.  Finally, at about 3:30am he said to himself…


“I will arise and go to my Father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son.  Treat me as one of your hired servants.'”

Months later the son, long after the Father had welcomed him back home, was recalling this incident as the family shared the evening meal.

After listening and not saying a word for several minutes, the father spoke up.  He stroked his beard and then slowly and haltingly said: “Son, I appreciate your being honest and vulnerable tonight.  You are a courageous man.  Let me tell you about my experience.  You know, I, too, remember that night.  I remember it well.  For some reason, I also was wide awake that night at 1am and then 2am, tossing and turning like I rarely do. I laid there wondering about you, hoping you were all right, not knowing if I would ever see you again.  I’ve never said this before, but when I got up at 3:30am that day (apparently the same time you got up) I wondered — with a kind of intense wondering I had never felt before — if that day might, just maybe, be the day you wandered back home.”

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