The Journey Home – The Prodigal

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Unsettled, jealous and selfish
Thinking only of my future, satisfaction and desires.
Needing to go my own way now.
Desperate I plead for my inheritance
To spend it on my own selfish desires.

Travelling where I want to go
Wherever I think best.
The future is mine, no thought of others.
Selfish and evil,
I make my own way, in my own strength.

Partying it up, spending my gifts
On the unimportant and frivolous.
Time wasting, pleasure seeking,
Filling my own selfish heart
With the darkness of this world.

Poor, in possessions and fulfilment
Surface friends disappear.
Passions are no longer satisfied,
Desires and pleasures fleeting.
I briefly think of home.

The metaphorical pig run
Is dirty and despising
It strips me of what dignity I have left
Value and self worth diminishing
I again think of home.

What have I done?
What have I given up? Wasted?
Even the pigs here have it better than me.
My stomach and soul – empty,
My pride and jealousy softening and dissolving.

Home…security, love, worth.
Home…my family, belonging, safe.
As I rote learn a pleading apology
To be accepted back even as a servant,
My heart yearns to see my Father again.

I walk the road of humility
Back to my Father
Every step thumping the anguish of my sin
It hurts, it drives deep
But this is the road I must traverse.

I recite over and over again
What I will say when I see my Father
Will I even be accepted?
But my words are stopped short
By the view of a running figure…towards me?

Father! I smell, I have nothing
I am a sinner, I am weak!
Yet you run towards me,
And forgetting what I look like or what I have done,
You fling your arms around my aching frame.

Acceptance, joy, mercy, undeserved love
Strong arms of my Father holding my sobs
Secure in always being his offspring
Disbelief, questions flood my mind – why?
Why accept me back?

You see our Father just wants us back.
We have been in the pig run, dirty and hopeless
And he just wants us back,
Just as we are – stinking and worn out
His grace flows over us – just as we are.

Clothed with my Father’s clothes,
I am now draped in his strength.
I join in the party that welcomes me back
A party that does not feel like mine
I don’t deserve it, but it is for me.

I sense my brother’s indignation
His desire for justice
Inheritance fairness
But God’s forgiveness is beyond my understanding
He just wants us back.

I don’t forget my pigsty experience
The penalty and guilt – gone
Replaced with forgiveness and acceptance.
What matters is being home in my Fathers’ house
Secure, loved, forgiven and His own.

Grace, washes over us
Forgiveness knocks on our heart
Acceptance is a prayer away
Love, identity, mercy and peace
All found in our Father’s arms.

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