prodigals

i’m slowly unpacking from the Adelaide trip last week, and was about to throw out a scrap piece of paper when i realised i’d written all over it. These are thoughts i had while at a chapel service that Jonny and Steve Taylor were leading. My mind, unfamiliar to being in church, and on an adrenalin rush from the rest of the week, was not staying focussed in the space… or maybe they were too good at creating a space where people were free to think…

I was thinking that the story of the prodigal son, which was the focus of the service, is about impossible relationships being transformed in impossible ways. It’s ending is entirely unpredictable. So in that way, a prayer from this story needs to have no words to it, no desired outcome, because we can’t know the beginning or the ending of the stories we each bring to it… and this is what i scribbled down:

a prayer for those sons who wish their father dead;
a prayer for those fathers who do not deserve sons.

a prayer for those who find distance gives new perspective on relationships:
a prayer for those who come back;
a prayer for those who don’t.

a prayer for those who did not have the courage to leave;
a prayer for those who do not have the hope to return.

a prayer for those always standing on the sidelines;
a prayer for those uncertain of their place.

a prayer for those who come home to no welcome;
a prayer for those who wait with a welcome for no return.

a prayer for those who hear only guilt and the impossible in this story;
and a prayer for those who will never know their grief.

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