Monday, July 18, 2011
I absolutely love the parable in Luke 15 about the prodigal son. I need it. If you're unfamiliar with this story, it's truly worth a read. This story has been emerging a lot in my life over the past couple of months. I love that we can see the Father's heart for reconciliation...and the fact that Jesus, the one who makes real reconciliation possible, is telling the story, makes it really whole and settling for me. Verse 20 is the one that I'm sure will bring me to tears more than once in my life.
"So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."
This speaks to me so deeply. As a woman, and as...Christine, God has given me a great appreciation for physical touch. Anyone who knows me well understands this because, as odd as it may sound, they've been (literally) touched by me. I long for the day when I can wrap my arms around my Heavenly Father's neck and express my love to him in that way. To just hear about the father in this story, who most certainly represents our God, giving his son a hug of desperate relief and kissing him with that fatherly love...oh wow. I may just be at a loss for words.
I've been reading The Practice of the Presence of God, the letters and conversations of Brother Lawrence...or as I more endearingly call him, Bro Low. It's a great little read that has actually taken me some time to get through (seriously, it's like under 100 pages, people). I didn't know what my opinion of this man was at first...I kept thinking to myself, "If Brother Lawrence was around today, I don't know that I'd connect well with him. I mean he is really, really obsessed with God!" That sounds awful, no? Well, my heart has been a bit softened since and the other day, I was just struck by the following passage:
I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King. Touched with a sensible regret, I confess to him all my wickedness, I ask His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands that He may do what he pleases with me. The King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.
-Second Letter, pg. 37
Wow, Bro Low... I'm sorry, I do want to be your friend.
I hear lots of Prodigal in that statement! There's no other commentary I can give that passage that would enhance it more, so I'll move on to my last piece of...media, I guess I'll call it. My last piece that relates directly (in my opinion) to the story of the prodigal son.
Mumford & Sons "Roll Away Your Stone" is a song that has moved me quite frequently in this season of life. I must, first, thank my friend Marianna for introducing me to these boys...and then I must say that I can't be certain my interpretation of the song is correct. In fact, I just read parts of a forum on the song and many people are at a loss.
But when I hear the following verse... I just think Jesus.
Stars hide your fires,
for these here are my desires
and I won't give them up to you this time around
and so, I’ll be found with my steak stuck in this ground
marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul
I know it's a stretch, but my first thought when I heard this bridge was "Prodigal!" Stars (shiny, sinful lusts that draw them in) hide your fires. For these here (these kidos, these ones!) are my desires and I won't give them up to you this time around. And so, I'll be found with my steak stuck in this ground (running and hugging and kissing and ring-putting...I'm SET on it!) marking the territory of this newly impassioned (forgiven) soul!
Forgive my jumpy thoughts, but isn't this good stuff?! I have no conclusion to wrap this up neatly... so I'll leave you with a link to yet ANOTHER Prodigal piece. Thanks for reading.