No. 4 - 29th August 2016
I was watching an interview with a man who was living on the streets. He was probably in his early forties, and he was an alcoholic. He had lost his family and his home and he had nothing left in the world. The interviewer asked him the usual questions about what it was like to live on the streets and how he got into this situation. And then she said, “If you could have one wish, what would it be?” And without hesitation, the man said, “I just want someone to love me… I would like to come home in the evening to someone who was glad to see me”… I thought it was heartbreaking.
It reminded me a lot of a story Jesus once told about a young man from a fairly wealthy background who wanted to get more out of life than he was getting at home. So, he asked his father for his share of the estate that was coming to him. He then took all of his belongings and left home.
That young man had the time of his life. He made lots of friends, partied all night, and did all the things he had ever dreamed of. Then one day, the money ran out. The so-called friends all moved on. He wasn’t invited to the parties any more and he finished up on the streets, homeless and scavenging for food wherever he could find it.
Eventually, he started thinking about home and all the people who worked for his father. Every one of them had food enough and to spare, while he was starving. Living like an animal. He decided that he would have nothing to lose by going back to his father and confessing that he’d made a complete mess of his life, and what he had done was totally wrong. And was there any chance of getting some sort of a job with the other workmen. To be honest, he didn’t think he had much of a chance. He couldn’t imagine his father forgiving him after what he’d done.
At home, the father was looking out the front window as he often did, when he saw his son walking down the road towards home. He dropped everything, rushed out of the house and ran to meet his son. And as the boy was confessing his guilt, the father wrapped him in his arms and kissed him, and said, “Come on son, were going to have the biggest party you’ve ever had”. Then Jesus said, “Now that is what God is like”. I just wish the young man in the interview had known that.Share via email