Sunday, April 10, 2011

the prodigal son

last evening we celebrated aldo's {Peter's dad} 86th birthday.  it was an amazing evening celebrating with catherine-his precious wife of 60-something years, many friends and all of his children...there are TEN, including Peter, as well as all of us daughter or son-in-laws.  the evening took place in orange county so it gave peter and me an hour to chat on the way home.

peter spoke so honestly of the love his family has for him.  this pesky disease has left peter a broken and humble man...a far cry from the arrogant and boastful man i met some 27 years ago.  his perception and attitude toward his siblings was often fogged by his financial success.  his dear sweet family has always been warm-welcoming-loving to me.  over the years, i could see the "fog of arrogance" begin to clear and for peter to truly love and embrace his siblings.  peter said how joy-filled he was to spend the evening with his parents, brothers and sisters.  he continued on to say how forgiving they have all been of  his past boastfulness and the unconditional love they each have for him. 

it reminded me of the parable in luke of the prodigal son.  a young man runs off and wildly spends the inheritance his father gives him early.  once he has wasted away his fortune and is left feeding pigs, he humbly returns home and asks for his father's forgiveness.  the father is overjoyed with his lost son's return and plans a celebration.  the prodigal son represents those of us who have wandered away from God during our lives.  the father is God, joyfully waiting for us to return to humbly return to him.  he is ready to love and embrace us, forgetting our capricious behavior.

each of peter's brothers and sisters has been a source of strength and comfort during this challenge of lymes.  each has called-emailed-hugged-laughed-cried along side of us.  their actions and love remind me how the father treated his son upon his return.  each of them a godly example of unconditional love and patience and i am blessed to be a part of a family that lives and loves with grace.

can i ask...are you are the prodigal son that needs to humble return to our Father...or perhaps you are a "father" that needs to unconditionally welcome a lost child. God grace is free for the taking, we must just reach out and ask.

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