This story is multi-faceted. It is a story about forgiveness, about arrogance, about sin, greed, and familial relationships. You see there was another brother, that never demanded anything, stayed at home, and continued to work for his father. He was the obedient son. When the older son came home the father threw a feast, and the younger brother got mad. I have always identified with this brother.
My family relationships are very complicated. They carry a lot of unhealed hurt, and a sense that by controlling others you can control your pain. We have prodigals that have left because of their interpreted pains, and an underlying criticism because I don't feel those same pains. There is also a tremendous amount of hurt that is carried forward by abusive relationships in generations past. That abusive cycle has been broken, but the hurt remains, and this is what people struggle with. Throw into that the sheer size of my extended family, and it all makes for a very interesting family holiday.
Jesus understood the pain that people feel. He came to try to get people to understand that you don't have to carry that hurt around with you, or worse yet, wrestle with it your whole life trying to control it. Wresting with hurt is like wresting with the devil. You will never win. The ONLY way to get rid of it for good, is to release it. Let it go. This doesn't mean to forget, because I don't know that our human selves can ever do that, but you can make the decision not to allow it to hurt you anymore. Other people will often hurt you when they are coming from a place of hurt. That took me a long time to understand. They justify their behaviors because of the hurt they feel. Someone else hurt them so that makes it okay for them to hurt you. It does not. But if you choose not to allow that hurt, then you can be the example of healing.
Jesus is my example. There is no better one ever.
And my inheritance is in Heaven.
Until next time:
Peace to you and yours,
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Re-Inventing the Impossible
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