Read Luke 15: 20 ESV
Our prodigal boy makes his way home—leaves the dust and famine of the far country behind, His clothes are sullied and torn, his shoes are worn out, his hands blistered and calloused, and he’s famished. Does he beg for crumbs along the way? The road back seems so long, but he keeps going— rehearsing the speech he hopes will gain him entrance into his father’s employment.
While he is miles from home, too many bends to see around, the father is watching. Maybe he has placed scouts at mile markers in case this lost son of his ever came home. Perhaps, one of his servants shouts from the top of the watchtower, “He’s coming. He’s coming!” We don’t know exactly how the father knew, but he did.
NOW, watch the father. Watch him closely. WATCH THE FATHER.
While the son was still FAR AWAY. He’s not even home yet, not even near. The son is still separated from the father (Ephesians 2: 4-5)
His father saw him. Reminds me of Hagar and her naming of God—The God Who Sees Me. After all this time, the father has no trouble recognizing his son. He knows his son.
Felt compassion—not anger, reprimand, or condemnation. The father was moved deeply, in his inward parts, for this lost son.
Ran to him. Not just a slow jog, trot or power-walk. No, the father ran like an Olympic runner in a race.
Embraced him. Our English translation is sorely lacking here. The father fell on his son, wrapped his arms around him, and buried his head in his son’s neck.
Kissed him. Again, our translations fall short. The father kissed his son fervently. He grabbed his son’s face and pressed his lips hard against his son’s cheek. Can’t you just see it? The father’s hand cupped tightly around the back of the son’s head, not allowing for any space between them?
I pose no suggestions or questions today; just prayerfully consider these images in your heart and mind.