Prodigal God

You are the prodigal son. You had better fish to fry, You got bored and left us, taking Your inheritance with You: our confidence in You.

I’m not trying to be clever, saying this. I’m trying to understand You, so I’m telling You how You come across — to me, anyway.

Who is the father whom You insult, whose death You brazenly anticipate, when You ask for Your inheritance ahead of time?

I am. Or, we are; I’m not alone. There are lots of people like me. Your willingness to walk away, and Your absence, have broken our hearts.

Who is the dutiful elder son who perseveres, very possibly joylessly, very possibly in one long trudging life of obligation because there is nothing else. Who? My brother, for one — my actual brother. Undoubtedly there are millions of men and women like him. He’s the one I can vouch for. He has no use for You.

But I try to keep in touch, because I am nothing if not loyal. I am accepting, hopeful, forward-looking, even creative — in response to that most noxious of demands, that most manipulative requirement — or I will exhaust myself trying. I remind myself that I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.

So I keep calling out to You, on my own behalf and that of my brother, even though, if he knew, he would laugh angrily and dismiss You. He wouldn’t dismiss me, though, and so I have something. I don’t have nothing.

So let me ask You: Where are You now? When You left us, You were energized, whether You realized it or not, by Your people’s love for You, our longing, even our grief. When will You leave us so far behind that even our intensity can’t reach You? When will You founder? When will You come back to us?

August 2, 2020 COVID-19 Infections and Deaths

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