How many times have you felt hopeless? Counting each passing second until something happens. Maybe you are waiting to hear back from the doctor’s office about some test results. Or, you are dating person after person wondering when you are going to find your future spouse. You could be expecting a call about a job offer.
There are moments when we identify with the father in the parable. We spend our time looking out the window, hoping to see a glimpse of someone or something heading down our path. We want to have the moment when we see someone top the hill, so we can take off running toward them and squeeze them with everything we have in us. We want our waiting to pay off.
In Jesus’s parable, the immense despair turns into a demonstration of pure love. The crux of this story is the embrace between the father and his returning son. The intimate beauty we see when the dad refuses to shame or punish his son for his actions. We read the story and want the same grace to be shown to us. We desire the idea of our sins being forgiven with no questions asked. We long for a moment where our past no longer defines us. We want to go home.