|Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal|
Having wandered through the Forest of Seventeen for several years; having had my fill of cell phone stalking and ATT online phone bill reviewing for clues about friends and true whereabouts;
having waited up till early morning for too many nights to see a curfew-breaking boy skulk through the front door;
having prayed, fasted, pleaded with God, worried, cried and agonized over his return;
having argued with my husband about how to handle a wayward teen; having enlisted as many good people to reach out to him as I possibly could;
I can finally say with great relief and gratitude that
my son has come home.
We have emerged from the confusing fog of the forest and can see the shimmering glow of noon day sun.
It was an ordinary summer holiday home from college, but we had an extraordinary conversation. As soon as he walked in the door, I could see it had returned. The light in his eyes had come back.
If the eyes are the window of the soul, then someone flung them wide open. The murky darkness was lifted. My son had come home; back to being himself again; back to Jesus.
The holiday was 4th of July, Independence Day. We celebrated with chicken shish-kabobs, barbecue and flag cake. There were the traditional Roman Candle wars in the side yard, goggles worn and onlooking neighbors aghast!
Before bedtime, I said good night to my son who was sitting on the guestroom couch. I noticed his eyes were welling up.
I just feel so bad for some of my friends who are so messed up.
A tear spilled down his stubbled, young man face. He wiped it away as I sat down on the floor, and put my hand on his knee. He kept talking.
Mom, I know you've forgiven me for all the times I was out there. But I have to ask you again. Please forgive me for the lies and the running around, the late nights, everything.
Of course, I forgive you. I just didn't want you to hurt yourself irreparably. I knew what was going on, but I feared you would launched some hard consequences.
Yeah, I just wanted to do what I wanted to do.
Head on his knee now, I felt the wedge of dishonesty and hiding and shame lift. We connected as mother and son, human to human - something I had prayed for, for years.
He continued to cry and admit to all the things I had suspected, the pain of rebellion releasing. Love and forgiveness purifying, freeing us both. It was his Independence Day; a day of sweet reconciliation. A coveted conversation that blanketed our hearts and souls with healing and restoration.
I knew what youthful mistakes could do to a life. Mine follow me to this day. I am still working through them. There was nothing more I wanted than to help my child avoid the same mistakes.
This was his day to raise the white flag; the day my prodigal son come home.
|Photo Credit: The Leftovers|