He stretched, his feet hitting something hard. Wincing from the odor permeating his nose and hearing the growl coming from his stomach reminded him of where he was.
I can’t remember the last time I ate. Crawling out of the empty feed trough to start his morning chores, nostalgia overwhelmed him.
What was his father doing right now? > He imagined the smell of the morning fires being lit at his home. A jeer crossed his face, envious thoughts of his brother filling his mind.
As he slung the food for the pigs he continued his reminiscing. How many years has it been? What was I thinking? Asking for my share of dad’s estate. Going off like that, leaving my father, my home and my family. What a foolish, selfish young man I was. And now look at me. Here I am, no money, no home, and feeding pigs for a living.
The noise of two of the pigs fighting over the pods he threw them brought him back to the present.
Even my father’s servants have it better than I do. Maybe I should go back. Maybe I should go back to dad and tell him I have sinned against him and heaven. I can offer myself to him as a servant. I can expect nothing more. After all, who am I? I am no longer worthy to be called his son.
“Yes, that is what I will do,” he spoke audibly to no one.
* * * *
It had been a long walk and he was more than weary. As he crested the top of the final hill he muttered under his breath, “Father God, let him accept me, please let him offer me a place with his servants. Give me the strength to acknowledge my wrong doing and help me live all the days of my life in honor to him.”
He looked up from his humble prayer and glanced ahead. There it was. His home. The home he left so many years ago. He immediately saw someone. Could it be? Was that his father? He saw that the man he glanced upon was moving slowly with a bent back.
Just then the man turned and looked his direction. For an instance he seemed to stand absolutely still and in that moment the son's heart sank. Will he forgive me? Will he let me stay? Is it possible he could ever love me again?" but then he saw the most amazing thing. He father threw out his arms and began to run. More than once he stumbled and fell as he ran. He was running towards him. His father. The son began to run too.
Within minutes they crossed the expanse dividing them and embraced. His father held him tightly while he kissed him, tears running down his face.
The words tumbled one over the other as the son shared the feelings of his heart, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
But his father quickly requested of his servants that a party be thrown in honor of him, the prodigal son. The prodigal son returned home.
Feelings of gratitude and humility overcame the son. Not only was his father accepting him home, after he had lived many years in a far away land, spending his entire inheritance and being disobedient to God, but it was obvious his father had expected him to return home.
In that moment, he realized the Father had never looked on him as unworthy but had continued to love him and wait expectantly for his return home.
NIV Luke 15:19
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