As most of my Friday nights go, I spent it cuddling with my baby boy. We watched some Veggie Tales. (I know, we're a wild crew on the weekends.) Reed chose one of my favorites, The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's. Its basically a mesh of the Prodigals Son with a Wizard of Oz flair. Everytime I watch this the end brings me to tears. (Not because of the seriousness of the story... Anyone familiar with my veggie friends, knows while nothing seems to be sacred, sacred things seem to be taught... and actually stick.) I get all weapy because of the song at the end. And while I did actually look up the writer of the song, I didnt write it down. So Mr. Songwriter, wherever you are, forgive me for not giving you your proper dues. Maybe later I'll look it up again and edit this one. Anyway, the song goes (or at least the chorus):
I love you today and I love you tomorrow,
I love you as deep as the sea,
I love you in joy and I love you in sorrow,
You can always come home to me.
Every time I've watched this I have kinda taken the perspective of being the prodigal. Heaven knows I've made my share of severely bad choices and have literally returned home with my tail between my legs begging for forgiveness and help. As a parent, I can even understand the reality of unconditional love and think I would celebrate just as much as the prodigal's father. But tonight was different.
This time, all I could think of was the "other son". The one that had done everything he should. The one that felt the envy and most likely the pain of his father immediately throwing a celebration for the return of his son. I think while a lot of us, (read ME), find ourselves relating to the prodigal and thankful for the love shown to us when we need forgiveness, we are more often put into the position of the "other son".
It seems the lost lesson of the Prodigal Son is the brother's reaction and how often our reaction seems to mirror it. Whether a literal sibling or just a connection of being another Child of God, its so easy to look on, thinking, "they dont deserve forgiveness, let alone a celebration." I think too many of us try to rate our sins on a continuum. "This" isn't as a bad as "that". But the reality is we must be perfect to be with God again, therefore, all must embrace the gift of the Atonement. All of us have sins against us. And for those who still like rate severity of sins to compare each other and think yours are more tolerable and more forgivable, the Lord says: thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. (Luke 15:31). Just like any family, adding another doesn't lessen the love available. All that He has is ours and all the better as more children are able to come HOME.
2 years ago