Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Why Go Home?

One day the boy awoke. He knew what he would do. He was heading home. It was a long journey. What spurred his decision? His life was an absolute train wreck. Had he done this all himself…to himself? Yes! There was no one else left to blame. And why was he going home? Did he think the neighbors wouldn’t notice his return? Did he think they wouldn’t murmur or that the news wouldn’t spread like wildfire? Did he think they would welcome him with open arms? What about his own brother? Would he have expected him to be happy about his homecoming? Did he already feel the glare in his brother’s eyes? Could he hear the loud though unspoken “I told you so’s?” Why would he go home? Was he able to bring back all the money he had squandered? No! It was forever gone. Was he able to bring back an explanation of what he had done? Everybody expects an explanation, don’t they? Don’t they want to know why? Well…just tell me why you did it! Help me understand! No…he had no explanation. He went his own way. He went far. He did wrong…a lot of it. He couldn’t even come back with a good explanation. Will you tell me why he thought of going home where so many wouldn’t understand…where so many would speak of him but not to him…where so many might wish he had never come home? Why go home? Answer: he had a father there! Such a father! And though he expected and would demand absolutely nothing from him…yet he hoped. There was something about his father. Something that caused him to put one foot in front of the other…something that caused him to prepare a proper speech…something that kept him going all the long way home against all the odds. And when he heard the sound of footsteps and lifted up his eyes and saw his father running toward him, no doubt with tears streaming, he knew his decision was right. Finally, no matter what others thought, said or did, he was home. His brave journey home exposed the great heart of his wonderful father and turned on an unquenchable light for every sinner since. And every single time one sinner comes home, the melody of hope is heard in the land. Other sinners hearing it, think to themselves, “What am I doing here? I have a Father waiting!”  

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3 thoughts on “Why Go Home?

  1. You make such a good point about the “explanation”. Isn’t that our hang up a lot of times? We need to be able to explain our actions. I know for me … if I can’t explain the “why” then it’s hard for me to talk about it.

    How many times are we reluctant to tell someone something that is really weighing on us … because we have no explanation for it? Much of my life has no explanation. I was just talking to someone today about how I did things that … now … looking back … are insane. Yet, at the time I felt perfectly fine … thought I was thinking clearly. How do we get to that place? We leave our father is how. But really … I guess it has to start before that. In this story we don’t get to see what led up to the son asking for his money and leaving. Did he just decide he wanted to live on his own … or was their a fight? Whatever the reason for leaving … it could not have been easy to come back home.

    I’m so grateful for this father … other fathers in the same situations … and Our FAther. They accept the child … no explanation needed. I’ve had so many friends that have been in similar situations where the person … instead of welcoming, comforting, running, hugging … had to make sure that they knew they had done wrong. What is it in people that makes them think you don’t know you did wrong? They want to state the obvious about your situation … instead of offer the obvious help you need … acceptance, love, rest, patience, time, prayer, a safe place.

    Doug … thank you for reminding me that the Father is waiting to offer exactly what I need … no explanations needed … if I’ll just turn in His direction, He’ll run to meet me.

    HOW MANY TIMES I’VE HEARD THE ANGUISH IN PEOPLE’S VOICES AS THEY WERE AT A COMPLETE LOSS TO EXPLAIN THEIR SIN? I’M SO GLAD JESUS NOWHERE SAYS TO THE SINNERS HE MET, “OKAY NOW, TELL EVERYONE WHY YOU DID WHAT YOU DID?” AND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IF WE COULD EXPLAIN OUR EVIL, WOULDN’T WE BE ALL THE MORE TEMPTED TO JUSTIFY IT? AND THAT WOULD NEVER DO. WE JUST NEED TO “OUT” OURSELVES. THE DETAILS OF OUR SIN WILL HELP NO ONE…MIGHT EVEN INFLUENCE SOMEONE DOWN A BAD PATH, GOD FORBID. HOWEVER…AS WE LOOK BACK AND SEE THE WARNING SIGNS…THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT MADE IT EASIER FOR US TO WANDER…IN THOSE WAYS AND OTHERS WE MIGHT BE USEFUL IN HELPING OTHERS AVOID THE SAME PIT WE FELL INTO. THANKS FOR CHECKING IN PAIGE. HAVE A GREAT WORSHIP WITH ALL THE OPEN FOLKS TOMORROW. GIVE THEM MY LOVE.

  2. I think one of the things that made it so hard to me to take the first step toward home was the embarrassment of the “I told you so’s”. I knew I had done wrong (didn’t need that pointed out to me thank you very much). I knew my sin had caused pain and shame to other people. (I didn’t need reminded of that either). I knew that I had “been raised better”. I hated the thought of facing those people that had tried to talk some sense into me before I jumped into the deep end.

    And then the folks that hadn’t tried to talk some sense into me before, but had expectations of how I should have acted…and were measuring me against those…and of course I had fallen short of what they saw as my potential. “What a shame, what a waste. She had so much going for her..she could have done anything…but ….”

    The people that should have been there for me weren’t. So I didn’t think God was there either. When I finally saw that He still loved me, that He could forgive me, that I was worth something to Him…..my heart melted and I knew there was no place I wanted to be BUT back with Him. I still wasn’t convinced that He wanted me back, but what else could I do but turn to Him and beg for mercy? He didn’t require me to beg…He gave that mercy freely and abundantly. I still beg Him for forgiveness because I still feel the pain and shame of my sin. But my heart has healed enough that I can believe that I am forgiven, that I am His and He ran to meet me when I headed humbly home.

    Thank you for reminding me that He didn’t require me to explain myself….or chastise me for coming back empty-handed. He ran to meet me and wrapped me in His arms and ignored the older brother!!

    ISN’T IT TRUE, SHERRY, THAT IT’S ONLY THOSE PEOPLE WHO DON’T TRULY LOVE US WHO ARE ABLE TO GIVE UP ON US? I HEARD OF ONE FATHER SPEAKING TO ANOTHER, WHOSE SON WAS REALLY PUTTING HIM THROUGH THE WRINGER, AND SAYING, “IF THAT WERE MY SON. I’D HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM EVER AGAIN.” THE FATHER REPLIED, “IF HE WERE YOUR SON, I WOULDN’T HAVE ANYTHING MORE TO DO WITH HIM. BUT HE’S NOT YOUR SON. HE’S MINE!”
    I REALLY LIKED YOUR OBSERVATION ABOUT GOD NOT CHASTISING US FOR COMING BACK “EMPTY-HANDED.” REMINDS ME OF THE HYMN, “ROCK OF AGES”- “NOTHING IN MY HAND I BRING, SIMPLY TO THY CROSS I CLING.” WHAT DO WE HAVE TO BRING? IN HOSEA 14 THE PROPHET TELLS GOD’S SINNING PEOPL TO RETURN TO HIM AND TO TAKE WITH THEM WORDS…WHAT WORDS? WELL, CERTAINLY NOT EXCUSES OR EXPLANATIONS! BUT WORDS FROM THEIR SIN-BROKEN HEARTS…WORDS OF REPENTANCE…WORDS THAT SPOKE OF LESSONS LEARNED…WORDS THAT MADE IT CLEAR…ONLY GOD COULD HELP THEM NOW.
    IT’S SO GREAT TO BE FORGIVEN! SING IT, PRAY IT, AND PRAISE IT OUT TOMORROW MORNING WITH ALL THE OPEN FAMILY! GOD BLESS YOU, SHERRY, YOU AND ALL YOURS.

  3. Rex Boyles on said:

    Home to me – is a old farm house on a dirt road – a mile off of nearest highway – 15 miles from the nearest town – surrounded by crops and pastures. I was raised there. In that house is where I learned to walk – talk (not necessarily in that order, according to my parents). It was there I learned to read – play baseball and football – say my prayers. In that house is table where we ate our meals together – a room that I shared with my brothers – and a feeling of home. But it is that way, because my mother and father made it that way – all of my life.

    There was never any doubt as to what I would do at the end of a day at school or in the fields … at the end of a weekend away at a friend’s house … at the end of a semester in college … at the end of a heavenly joy with the birth of my children … at the end of a hellish shame with my disgrace … no doubt at all … that I would go home.

    Why … go home? Where else would I find such acceptance – understanding – forgiveness – love – support – celebration? I couldn’t find it in church (how sad), but I found it at home (how wonderful).

    May God help me – help us – turn church into a place that gives prodigals that feeling of “there is no place like home”.

    YOUR WORDS HERE HELPED ME REALIZE THAT A WONDERFUL HOME DOESN’T GUARANTEE THAT WE WILL ALWAYS MAKE GOOD CHOICES…THE BIBLE MAKES THAT SO CLEAR ALSO…IT WAS A GREAT HOME THAT ADAM AND EVE MESSED UP WITH THEIR SIN…THE YOUNGER BROTHER CERTAINLY COULDN’T HAVE MADE A CASE FOR HIS FATHER BEING UNLOVING OR DOMINEERING AND FORCING HIM TO LEAVE HOME…BUT THE PARADISE OF THE HOME GOD MADE FOR MAN ORIGINALLY HAS EVER SINCE PROVIDED THE REFERENCE POINT FOR FUTURE BLESSING, INTIMACY, PEACE, HARMONY AND SECURITY. AND THE HOME FIRES WHICH THE PRODIGAL’S FATHER KEPT BURNING FOR HIM, CALLED TO HIM ACROSS THE MANY MILES AND INTO THE VERY PIG PEN HE FOUND HIMSELF…AND BROUGHT HIM HOME. THE HOME OF YOUR CHILDHOOD FIRED THE FUEL OF MY IMAGINATION FROM NEARLY THE FIRST DAY I MET YOU. I WONDERED WHAT KIND OF HOME GOD USED TO MOLD A FRIEND LIKE YOU…AN UNSELFISH FRIEND TO ME AND TO MANY OTHERS WHO STRENGTHENED ALL OUR HANDS AND HEARTS IN GOD. I’M THINKING IT’S HIGH TIME THE CHURCH TAKE A LITTLE TRIP…HAT IN HAND…BACK TO THE HUMBLE, LOVING, FAITHFUL HOME AND LEARNED THERE HOW TO TREAT THOSE WHOSE SINS HAVE LEFT THEM TERRIBLY EXPOSED…HOW TO NOT GIVE UP ON THEM…EVER…HOW TO SHOW HONEST AND LOYAL LOVE TO THEM…HOW TO ALLOW THEM TO SEE THEMSELVES THROUGH THE EYES OF BELOVED PARENTS OR SISTERS AND BROTHERS IN A WAY THAT RESTORES A HOPE AND A PROMISE, REALLY, OF PURPOSE AND USEFULNESS AGAIN IN THEIR LIVES. I’M PRAYING YOUR PRAYER, REX, THAT GOD HELP US TURN THE CHURCH BACK INTO A PLACE THAT COMMUNICATES TO EVERY PERSON, ESPECIALLY EVERY PRODIGAL…THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

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