March 28, 2019 — Prayer for a parent when a prodigal departs

(Somehow, I thought I knew all the turns and twists of this parable, but God always has one more perspective to teach me)

God, help me love
this one who is walking away —
without imagining the worse,
anticipating a sweet, “I told you so,”
or curling up tight
around my own hurt feelings.

Let me to paint encouragement
across my worried face,
wave even when no one looks back,
send letters and emails
that don’t ask pointed questions,
keep tears out of my texts,
and whine out of my heart.

Let me set aside the robe, ring, shoes
and celebration dinner menu
to be prepared
whether the return is in triumph,
or disillusion and shame.

Welcoming is not something
that happens at the last moment.
Getting my love ready
for that road dust kicked up in the distance
may be the most important
work in my life.

I may never know what is going on
between here and a pig farm.

It’s not really my business,
and if it helps for the story to be told,
it will help more
if I never repeat it.

God, help me love these children
out the door,
love them while they are missing,
love them maybe home again,

because I know what it is
to be loved.

 

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6 Responses to March 28, 2019 — Prayer for a parent when a prodigal departs

  1. zazenbps says:

    I love this perspective! “Welcoming is not something that happens at the last moment.” Am I welcoming? Thank you for this, Maren.

  2. Maren says:

    I think we all waver back and forth! And it can be very difficult.

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