by Jason Cruise
I cannot help but think of what could have possibly been running through his mind as the dust kicked up with each step. No doubt that dry dirt road was soaked with boyhood memories of rock throwing, playing army, and building forts. Hundreds of times he'd ran down that road after hearing his mama calling him in for supper. This day, as he walked that same road, he knew every rut, every bend, every tree lining the ditches, but there was no mama calling him home. No father's voice filling the air. No sound of anyone was heard, because nobody was expecting him. It had been too long. Perhaps they had stopped looking. Perhaps.
The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 tells us that his dad saw him from a distance. I wonder what ran though the mind of this heartbroken father, for I have two sons, and I cannot imagine the sight of seeing my son, one who's heart left the family, now walking back down the same road that took him toward his shame.
I have an idea, though. I have some small idea as to what the father was thinking, for he revealed his heart toward the boy when he said, "This son of mine was dead and has come to life again."
This son of mine. You see, friend, it was personal to the dad. The day he walked out he didn't know it, but the boy took his father's heart with him. When a father loses a son, it's personal. The loss is one that only the deepest love can know. The pain is a type of pain only a father can feel.
We tend to forget just how personal it is to the Father when any of His created ones leaves home for a shameful land. We call them heathen, and they do act it out very well. We call them lost because they have chosen not to be found. We say such things because we tend to forget that there was a time when we, too, were on the other side of the cross. There was a time when we walked up the road ourselves chasing the grand illusion.
Never, ever forget how the Father's heart aches when any of His treasures, ones that have been lost, remain dead in a land never intended for them. When one of His most prized possessions takes up residence in a barren land, it's personal, and He'll go to extreme measures to get them back.
"For God so loved the world ..."