18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.
All Prodigal Daughters & Sons (By Emily Joy, spoken word poet)
What they failed to tell you when they armed you with swords and bible verses and sent you out…with hands full of charity and hopes as high as the tower of Babel is that saving the world is…very difficult…. There is no substitute for divinity, but oh, you’ve tried. You laid awake…[at] night holding every hand you could reach, promising that God was still watching…. You waited for Him to show up. Sometimes He did. But sometimes He stood you up and you sat at a table for hours in your best dress, convinced He was still coming, convinced there was…[a] mistake—you had the wrong place. But He never came. And you walked home alone.
And when God finally made Himself known, you barely recognized Him. You could only dream of the Father you once knew, so you rationed the last of Him from Sunday morning, tried to make Him last all week, but by Friday night you ran out of reasons to keep believing. So you replaced belief with the bottom of bottles. You did not recognize faces you could no longer place in a crowd, sunsets that seemed more beautiful than He did, anything to make you forget He never came. Or maybe He never left. What they fail to tell you when they task you with bearing the good news to a world you thought was destined for destruction is that most of the time you will need saving. And He will send someone else. And most of the time, your saviors will not look anything like you, and most of the time love does not look like a sledge hammer, love sometimes sits silently on a barstool. Love is not the ability to prove everyone else wrong and just because you can doesn’t mean you should. What they fail to tell you is that being right is not the same as being good, being right is not the way, the truth, the life, and being wrong cannot make Him leave you. I promise. He was never gone. So follow me all prodigal daughters and sons. We are not the worst things we’ve ever done. We are not our doubts. We are loved ones held fast in the hand of the One who loves.
Loving Father, help me to know when I stray from your paths and fail to recognize you that you are still with me, holding me in the strong, warm embrace of your loving arms. Amen.