Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Son Who Stayed Behind, The Good Son

Again, for this third Sunday in Lent, I join in with both Angela and the Henri Nouwen Society's virtual community  to answer the question posed here about the elder son:

The Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt van Rijn, c1669, courtesy Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
 Henri writes that both the younger son and the elder son needed healing and forgiveness and to return home to the father’s love.  “…it is clear that the hardest conversion to go through is the conversion of the one who stayed home.” (p 66) 
a) Have you ever been lost while at still home? b) Now that we have read about both the Younger and the Elder son, do you agree with Henri that the the hardest conversion to go through is the conversion of the one who stayed home? Have you experienced this in your life?
When I first read the question and tried to formulate an answer in my mind about how I felt about being lost while still at home, I thought perhaps every person feels this at one time or place in their lives.  It is especially poignant that as Christians, we who are in the arms of a loving God often feel this.  

And I especially question how our own children who are so loved by imperfect parents can become estranged from us, setting themselves apart with no communication from those who love them.  I can only claim the scripture in 2 Timothy 1:12:
Still I am not ashamed, for I know (perceive, have knowledge of, and am acquainted with) Him Whom I have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on), and I am [positively] persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day.
For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that Day. I do know that my daughter is entrusted to God, and I have committed her to Him. That is my confidence, that scripture, and I hold onto it this Lenten season.  Go in peace.


  1. I can think of those I love dearly, who seem far from God. But I know that however great is MY love for them, the love of the Father is EVEN GREATER, And, like you, I entrust them to Him. A thoughtful post, thank you x

  2. This is a wonderful post and made me think a lot. Most of my family seem far from God and it is hard to think that sometimes but as Ang says, God is greater and we can trust in him. And I need to do a bit more vehement praying.x

  3. Thank you, Nancy. My husband says that this story is more about the love of the Father than either of the two sons. It's interesting to thinking about how each son felt, believed, and acted. Great post! Prayers for you and your daughter, friend.