Monday, 04 April 2011
A couple nights ago, a fluffy white Maltese barreled into our house, and subsequently, into our lives and hearts. One of my housemates found the small dog roaming the neighborhood at night without any kind of tag or identification. So we took the little guy in for the night and he almost immediately made himself right at home. He barked when people entered through the front door; he whimpered when someone left. He even claimed his own personal spot on the edge of our couch as he fell asleep nuzzled against someone's leg.
Have we missed something? Have we really owned a dog all along and we somehow forgot about him, only for him to return home to us? It's incredible -- this friendly fluffy ball of white just seems to fit right into our house of seven 20-something guys. And while we put up notices around the neighborhood, we'll gladly hang onto him and continue soaking up the joy. We've even decided to adopt little "Houdini" should the owners not be found. He's impacted us that much over just three days.
What a "coincidence" that I happened to open my devotional book this morning and read about the prodigal son. Talk about the ultimate lost-and-found story.
That parable never ceases to yank my heart strings. Because so often I've felt like both the prodigal son as well as "the other son."
There have been times I've strayed, only to have my illustrious "pig slop moment" where I shamefully return. And there have been times I've witnessed others stray, only to covet their acquired praise and acceptance.
As much as I've been both sons throughout my life, I've never been the father though. And I kinda wonder what that must feel like: to lose your son, and then to watch him return. Return to you.
What does God feel when we wander like the prodigal son or little Houdini? Sadness? Anger? Fear? Does God "feel" such things?
I wonder about Houdini and his own "father." Did he get a little too adventurous and just decide to abandon his home one day? What if we hadn't found him and embraced him as our own? Would he still be out there, wandering with the pigs and desperate to return home?
Who knows what the future holds for us and the great Houdini. It's a win-win for him, really. Either we find his owners and he gets to return home at long last, or he just so happened to stumble into a great new home with us.
How happy the Father must be when we choose life with Him.
Have you experienced times of straying and subsequent returning? What's your experience been like as the prodigal son, the other son, or even the father? Have you ever had something like Houdini "randomly" enter your life and bring you much joy?