Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We Prodigals All

(Luke 12: 2 - 3) Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

When I was young death was never a concern as it only happened to other people, besides knowing that I was young and had the world by the tail, there was much up ahead that needed to be accomplished. This is not unlike how many people feel about their own lives, questions about mortality are forever being relegated to the unimportant files of their unconscious mind. Seeing some of my fellow soldiers in body bags still hadn’t sunk in until my own delusions about this matter were shattered in Southeast Asia as enemy bullets were clapping violently past my head and the stark reality exploded in my mind that death was suddenly eminent. In a small frightened voice this pathetic young agnostic cried out, “Jesus help me!” Several years later as I heard the following story it dawned on me that I was that boy and that God had heard me cry out many years earlier sparing me, knowing that I would eventually respond to the promptings of this message.

(Luke 15: 11 - 24) “There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped; and shot, precipitated,
and down titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
from those strong feet that followed, followed after.
but with unhurrying chase, and unperturbèd pace,
deliberate speed, majestic instancy 
and a voice beat more instant than the feet
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”

(From The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson 1859-1907)

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