Many of us would have known the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). I heard this story again today, but it spoke to me in a very different way. I’m inspired to write this post and pen down my reflections, lest I forget.
Can you recall the times when your child does the complete opposite of what you say? When you specifically say “don’t do it”, and your child goes ahead and does it anyway? We’ve been having this issue every now and then, and an instance happened just the day before.
I told Hannah to stop swinging her book around as it might topple the cup that’s on the table. The little girl just looked at me, then carried on singing and swinging her book around.
As expected, the inevitable happened. Before I could take the cup away from the table, the book hit the cup and it spilled onto the floor and wall. (Thankfully, it was just plain water). I gave Hannah the look – the kind she knew she was in trouble. She looked at me, then at the floor…paused…then burst out crying and saying, “Mama, sorry!” repeatedly.
My first few words were, “See? Did I not tell you to be careful? Didn’t you hear me tell you to stop swinging the book?”
As I sat there listening to the sermon, the incident came to mind and I was ashamed of myself. True, Hannah didn’t listen to my words. However as a mother, as a child of God, I could have done things differently.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, when the father saw his younger son returned, he didn’t say, “Did I not tell you this would happen?” or “Look at what you’ve done!” The father ran, embraced and kissed his son. The bible says, “…he saw him and had compassion…”
I reflected and questioned myself, “where was my compassion?” When Hannah apologized, I didn’t came down to her level and hug her straightaway.
I ranted and tried to prove my point that I was right. My actions were childish.
How could my little one know of God’s love and grace when her mother doesn’t display these actions?
I walked out of service feeling humbled; feeling grateful that my Father has taught me another life lesson. The Prodigal Son story remains the same but its message is different every time.