Monday, March 14
Carolyn Silzle, member of RPC since 2009
Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.' So he divided his property between them. - Luke 15:11
The parable of the prodigal son has traditionally been my least favorite story of the Bible. As someone who worked hard in school and stayed out of trouble, I could not understand how someone who left home to party and spent his inheritance would be welcome with open arms. Should not the other child who had stayed at home receive gifts for just being the good child?
After getting married and having children, I continued to struggle with this story. I was teaching our children our values of right and wrong, and the importance of following the rules. I did not expect perfection, but I thought that the boundaries were clear and they rarely strayed.
Of course, this bubble burst with the teenage and college years. Having worked in healthcare, I know that testing boundaries and making poor decisions is part of the process, but I did not think it would happen to my children. One day while struggling with these issues, I heard a voice reminding me of the parable. Instead of a story of a good child being taken for granted while a fuss is made of the other child who left and returned, I now saw this story as an example of God's infinite love for me, no matter my sin or temptation. Just as I loved my children while their actions could pain me, so God loves all of us. He is there waiting for us to come to him, no matter the past. And even better, instead of a fatted calf, we get eternal life.
Gracious God we praise your name! Your love astounds me. Help me to love all that I come in contact with today as you love each of them. Amen