Wednesday, August 9, 2017

the prodigal son

i have a private journal.  when i'm really mad... or confused... i write in that one instead of my blog.  my private journal is full of irrational thoughts and bad theology.  it contains a lot of "why God's" and maybe even some complaining and whining.  its also full of grammatical errors and misspellings since it doesn't have spell check and i can't go back and edit it :)

one of its entries came a couple months ago when one of our rhinos quit the academy.  it wasn't just "any rhino."  it was robin.  he's like my son.  if you've ever visited us in guatemala, you know him.  even you follow this blog at all, you know him.  his dad died when he was little.  he's practically lived in our home for the last 7-8 years.

after it all went down i didn't want to talk about it with anyone.  it hurt too bad.  i took it personally.  i was offended.  the way he left was dumb and rebellious, and he wouldn't listen to anyone.  my 4yr old daughter cried for days.  jake was crushed.  kerrie cried too.  so did i.  robin was our son and our brother...

he didn't seem to care.  weeks turned into more than a month and we never heard from him.  people told me he was drinking and smoking in the street.  i wanted to go save him.  but based on the way he left, i knew that wouldn't work.  he needed space.  all we could do was pray.

today my heart is full.  last night, in a reproduction of the story of the prodigal son (luke 15:11-32), robin came home.  humble and broken, he explained that the "street life" only left him sad and miserable.  he said his heart has never been at peace and he feels hopeless all the time.  joyfully (and thankfully!), i told him thats because the spirit of God lives in him, and the holy spirit clashes with sin.  he said that when he prays he feels like God pushes him to come back to the Rhinos, but he's been too embarrassed.

but last night, he finally mustered up the courage.  he was nervous and uncomfortable.  but as he told me he was sorry with tear-filled eyes, and asked if he could come back home... the story of the prodigal son rushed to my mind.  after a long talk, i welcomed robin back with open arms, and we hugged father-son style.  in that moment, all i could think of to tell him was - this is what the grace of Jesus is.  He always forgives us, and always welcomes us back home.

you can imagine my joy when i received the above image from someone who forwarded me robin's facebook post from last night.  if extending him grace makes him thankful for the cross, we're doing our job!

THANK YOU JESUS!!

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