I think all older siblings have a strong understanding of justice. So, I always have to laugh at the story of the Prodigal Son, which we heard this weekend. All the older siblings just hate this one, and side with the older son who won’t come into the party for the slacker, loser, younger brother. It’s so hard to look a little closer and see the love of a father who knows the younger son so well. This son wasn’t going to be home, even if he stayed home. He was going to wander, and wander far. But the father never stopped waiting, never stopped hoping, never stopped loving. So, when the younger one returned, the father knew that it was for good. The thing is, we act as the older son, but we are often the younger one. Our Father knows who we are and what we are doing, and loves us even when we wander far away. He waits, and hopes, and rejoices when we see what we are doing and come back. He runs to us on the way, and brings us home. It’s actually one of my favorite stories.
Reference: Return of the Prodigal Son by Henry Nouwen (1994)