The ‘Prodigal’ [v127]

SEPTEMBER 2009

THE ‘PRODIGAL’
Last month I talked about the “debt of love”—something we should bestow upon others with the same ‘gumption’ as we would if it was for ourselves, and that this ‘kind’ of love is only really available by knowing God—and only by having a “debt of love” can we know God!

This month’s “Thought” is going to be a ‘practical example’ of such love—a story that I’ve got to believe that most of us has heard one time or another, in one form or another. It’s been referred to as “The Prodigal Son”—but I am going to ‘neuter’ it and speak to anyone, whatever sex, who may be thinking about, or are in the process of, ‘wandering’ astray from loved ones.

Charles Dickens and Ralph Waldo Emerson both said this was the “greatest short story ever written”—tremendous acclaim from a couple of the most prolific and gifted writers in recent history. Shakespeare also had this theme ‘run’ through many of his plays—specifically in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona—where not only does he depict sons, but also daughters that follow a ‘trajectory’ away from the father. Even though this parable is likely the most rich and inexhaustible in the Bible, it, at the same time, presents basic truth that even a child can grasp.

The fact is, “prodigals” don’t wake up one morning and declare, “I’m going to rebel against my father and leave home.” The ‘temptation’ to resist what they know is right takes place over a period of time. The ‘issue’ becomes one of their will.

We all have a conscience and really do know right from wrong (i.e. just like a member of a primitive tribe knows that it is wrong’ for him to ‘steal’ an animal from another tribe that he had nothing to do with obtaining it). If we choose to go against our conscience or ‘principles’, we will reap the consequences (the offended tribe will probably retaliate).

Prodigal does not mean “they who return”—it means “wasteful” or “spendthrift.” Whether that is physical money, or the ‘wasting’ of one’s ‘stature’ in life, that may have been achieved at great ‘cost’ to the father or the family. So, “prodigals” tend to be unappreciative and self-indulgent.

Nevertheless, in the parable, the father, rather than striking him across the face for his insolence (an accepted method of discipline in the Middle East 2,000 years ago), grants the young man what he wants—his “freedom”—a so there’s a very painful personal ‘agony’ for the father—that of REJECTED LOVE and the ‘dissolution’ of the relationship.  Heartbreaking.

This is the ‘foolishness’ of the young man. He wants to get away from the father—and quickly. He wants no accountability or responsibility to the father. He ‘spurns’ all what the father has provided for him—a stable upbringing, sustenance, and a loving environment.

He seems to think that his father is always ‘in his way’. He probably thinks it’s always, “Don’t do this and don’t do that!”; “Mind your responsibilities!”; and it always seems to come around to those infernal, “Shall nots,” curfews, and ‘restrictive’ laws!”

The thing is, it’s been like this since Adam and Eve. They too were in the Father’s ‘house’—and a ‘perfect’ one to boot!—but they still wouldn’t obey. There too was that ‘sign’, “You shall not!” with all its alluring dark secrets—and Adam, at the instigation of the Devil and in willful disobedience, robbed himself and his posterity of God’s good gifts. Ever since, mankind refuses to ‘hear’ and instead mutters: “Those annoying limitations! You call this freedom! Ha! Always barriers, forbidden pleasures, warnings, and dangers—how is a person to develop and live his own life with a father always spoiling everything?”

Similarly, in the parable, the young man does not ‘hear’ anything anymore. The young man is ‘dead set’ on achieving his “freedom,” and he tells his father so. I’m thinking that the father might have replied something like this:

“Do you really think that you’re not free? After all, you are a child of this house. You can come to me whenever you wish, and tell me of all the troubles you might have. You share in all the benefits of the family. All that I have I share with you. There are many who would be happy to have such a son’s privilege. Isn’t that freedom? Half of my kingdom belongs to you. I love you, and give you daily bread. I forgive your trespasses when you bring to me the burdens of your heart. You are bound to no one; you are free; subject to no one, but me. And yet you say you are not free?”

I postulate that the son responded something like this: “Father I am sick and tired of all this stuff. All this training, your rules, and all this restraint. You will not let me do what I want. Freedom means doing what I want when I want.”

The father then might have replied: “Freedom is not becoming a servant of your desires; a slave to lust and passion. It is not being ‘chained’ to your ambition; your need for recognition; or freedom to do as you please. Why do I forbid you these? To limit your freedom? No, never! But to ‘secure’ your freedom—that you might remain free. That you might live worthy of son ship because you are my son. Not to take your freedom. Not even to make you free. But because you are already free. Free because of my love for you and my grace to you.”

But, the son leaves in search of “freedom”—freedom to do as he pleases—in search of self-fulfillment, fun, and “love.”

Then life ‘happened’. He spends all he has on ‘fun’ and frivolity—and the people he associated with don’t want to have anything to do with him now, since he can’t give them what they want.

It gets even worse—there was a “severe famine that occurred in the country.” Not his fault, but that’s how life is sometimes. Some things are your fault, and some things are not. But the ‘conflux’ of these things can be devastating. Life is like that—and it is ‘compounded’ without compassionate ‘support’—like that of a ‘sympathetic’ father.

I’ve never been through a famine, but I have been told about them by people who have. I’m talking about a level of desperation that’s beyond anything I could conceive of (and for those who can remember the horrible U.S. depression, I’m told it’s WAY WORSE than that!).

So now he’s made some bad decisions himself—the worst possible—and circumstances have made them even more severe. This is life at its lowest. From a wonderful environment supplied by a loving father, to the lowest of the ‘pits’ and the most desperate of circumstances. He has no family. No friends. He’s in a foreign land, with nowhere to turn. All his resources are gone. He is destitute, penniless, and alone. The ‘PARTY’ IS OVER! Step by step he is losing himself. He is losing his identity. He no longer knows who he is.

Isn’t this the ‘sickness’ of our age? We live in a culture that does not know itself or its roots. A culture that in one generation no longer knows anything of the God of the Bible or the ‘blessings’ He has bestowed upon our country since its founding.

Today is a culture that has lost connection to God. We have lost our ‘way’. We too are in danger of being lost in that “far country,” disconnected from the Father, and squandering our ‘inheritance’.

However, even in this most atrocious situation, the young man is still not ready to go home—still not ready to fully humble himself, eat crow, be shamed, humiliated, or to face his father and the resentment of his older brother for having wasted his life. He doesn’t want to face any of that.

So he does what people tend to do when they hit bottom—“he began to be in need.” For the first time he can’t supply what he needs. This is the beginning of the end.

Like most ‘hard-headed’, prideful people, he comes up with a “plan.” He says to himself, “I’ve got to pick myself up.” He has nothing, but he’s going to pick himself up! So, he gets a job—and for the first time, he’ll have to work harder than ever before—and get very little for it.

His ‘pride’ is holding him back from doing what he should. He forfeited the ‘easy’ life, left a loving father, and ended up with a hard and neglected life. He wanted unrestrained pleasure, and to fulfill his lust without interruption and rebuke—but what he got was pain, unfulfillment, and loneliness.

Here is a person that is ‘fighting’ the pigs he is feeding for some of the ‘slop’ just to stay alive! (And I can tell you, fighting pigs for something to eat would be a losing battle. They are NASTY!). [ed. He’s so low that if he crawled under a snake with a top hat on he wouldn’t even touch its belly!].

This is an ‘UNECESSARY’ TRAGEDY—a waste of a life—and now he’s starving to death. This is what it had to come to for him to come to his senses. But now left with nothing, he has come to an honest assessment of his condition of destitution, helplessness, and impending death.

Well, NOW HE’S READY. He’s broken, alone, and has nowhere to go—but, finally, he’s penitent. This is a ‘picture’ of one whose repentance leads to reconciliation because, there’s not only repentance here, but ‘faith’ in how his father will ‘handle’ him. He trusts in his father’s goodness, compassion, generosity, and mercy. He knows the kind of man his father is, and in spite of the horrible way he has blasphemed and dishonored his father, and the terrible way he has lived his life, he knows his father is a forgiving man, and trusts in being received back—no matter what ‘works’ he needs to do to make restitution and be reconciled. Repentance is linked to ‘faith’, and he is truly repentant now. He has ‘swallowed’ his pride, and is ready to humble himself to his father—and now he can start his journey back ‘home’.

He then thinks that maybe, just maybe, if he can work long enough, he can earn back what he squandered, make restitution back to his family, the community, and then, hopefully, be reconciled with his father. Everybody would have understood that’s what needed to happen—then, and even today.

Most people believe that there’s no ‘instant’ reconciliation—that’s just not how it’s done— he’s going to have to earn his way back—and it should be a shameful ‘reception’. That’s exactly what the “Pharisees” were saying when they heard this parable originally (also agreeded to by every other religion in the world today). When this young man comes back, he has to say: “I’ll take my punishment”; “I’ll take the exclusion from fellowship in the family”; “I’ll take the distance from my father”; “I’ll endure the humiliation of lowly work”; “I’ll take the pain of hard labor for years to restore what I lost”; and “I’ll work my way back until I can be reconciled.”

But unbeknownst to him, his father had been watching, waiting, looking, and anticipating for him to return ever since he left—probably praying that nothing ‘bad’ was to happen to him, and that one day, he would come to his ‘senses’, and return home.

When the father finally does see the son returning, “while he was still a long way off,” he felt compassion for his son, ran to him (not done by men at that time), embraced him, and kissed him.

Now we know that the father had been suffering silently for the whole time he’s been gone. He’s been suffering quietly, loving that young man while he was gone—and now that quiet silent suffering love has become publicly displayed as he runs through the street bringing shame on himself, but to embrace his son and spare him from shame. Everybody now knows how much that father loves that son. So much so that he takes his shame, that he empties himself of any pride, of any rights, of any honor and in a self-emptying display of love brings shame on himself in order to throw his arms around that returning young man and protect him from being shamed by anyone else. By the time the young man walked into the village, he was a fully ‘reconciled’ son.

But most people would say that the young man does not deserve such a reception—accepted, forgiven, and reconciled—the young man should be ‘ostracized’, and treated like the rebellious ‘criminal’ he was. He dishonored his father, his family, and his community—and he should be scorned and shamed.

That’s pretty much how most people feel—but that’s not the way the father treated him—he ordered that there be a banquet to celebrate his son’s return! (and the “good” son is ‘livid’ about all this!—as would most of us be, too!).

This is RADICAL STUFF—totally unorthodox—hence, absolutely unexpected. And this is where the story has its HUGE SURPRISE. The father condescends, humbles himself out of this deep love for this son, comes all the way down from his house to the dirt of the village, runs through bearing the scorn and the shame, throws his arms around the penitent son who is coming to him in his filthy unclean rags—and this is EXACTLY WHAT JESUS DID FOR ALL OF US when He came to earth!

Jesus came down into our ‘village’ to run the gauntlet, bear the slander, shame, and the mockery to throw His ‘arms’ around us, ‘kiss’ us, and RECONCILE US WITH GOD THE FATHER.

We as “sinners” have no relationship whatsoever with a ‘perfect’ God. On our own, we don’t want to be accountable to God; don’t want to ‘answer’ to God; and we want to do what we want when we want. So, since God won’t ‘force’ you against your will, and with the agony of ‘rejected love’, He will allows you to make your own decisions—and ‘suffer’ the consequences.

But, just as the young man in the parable did, this is all any of us ever has to do—to come penitently to God, and trust in Jesus’ ‘atonement’ for our sins—because He has DONE IT ALL for us! We CAN’T DO ENOUGH to ‘earn’ our forgiveness, but the ‘shocking’ part of all this is that we DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING for our forgiveness—just accept this ‘gift’ that He freely gives to us!

At Christmas, Christians commemorate how God came down from Heaven, in the person of Jesus, so that He might meet us on the ‘road back home’, and reconcile us to God the Father. This is a God that patiently ‘waits’ for you to return, and wants, so much, to throw His ‘arms’ around you to protect you from shame and to be able to call you His “child.”

This is an exuberant God. This is a God who wants to lavish His love upon us—and wants to throw a ‘party’, just for you, a now FORGIVEN SINNER!

Most of us could honestly say that we would want to ‘help’ a “prodigal” from making some very poor choices—some that may have ‘life-altering’ affects for their future. But, sadly, sometimes ‘loved ones’ have to let the “prodigal” go, and ‘trust’ them to the God that made them—and hopefully, the “prodigal” will respond to God’s ‘promptings’, come ‘back’ to Him first, and then be ‘restored’ to their human fathers after that.

It is the ‘sorrow’ of a fathers heart that sons and daughters leave home. Not that they grow up and find a man or women, and get married. Not that they grow up and move out to live on their own. But rather, that they leave the spiritual ‘home’ of God’s grace. That they leave the spiritual ‘household’ of God’s covenant. That they leave the household where God wants to call them his “beloved.”

So many of us have become deaf to the ‘voice’ that calls them, “beloved.” So many have left the only place where they can hear that voice, and gone off desperately hoping to find somewhere else that they thought they needed, but couldn’t find at home. There are so many times that we do not ‘hear’. We murmur and grumble. We plug our ears. We engage in defiant deafness, thinking that we can find what we need by listening to the message of that “far away country.” This is unbelievable! Why should we leave the ‘place’ where all we need to hear can be heard? Why do we close our ‘ears’ so defiantly?

But, we still try to do it ourselves: “I’ll fix my own life”; “I’ll go to school”; “I’ll take sedatives”; “I’ll go to some self-help group”; “I’ll move to a new neighborhood”; “I’ll marry a new person”… When all that stuff is exhausted, the sinner wakes up at the bottom—and this is where the young man in the parable finds himself—in shameless rebellion—but, thankfully, it led to a shameful repentance.

So what’s the lesson here? It’s that sin is rebellion against God the Father. It is not rebellion so much against His Law, as it is rebellion against His relationship. It is the violation of His Fatherhood, His love. Sin is disdain for God’s Law, for sure, but before that it’s disdain for God’s person, His authority, and His will. Sin is shunning all responsibility, all accountability, and to deny God His rightful place. It is to hate God. It is to wish God was ‘dead’. It is to not love Him at all—to dishonor Him. It is to take all the gifts that He’s surrounded us with in life, and squander them as if they were worth nothing. It is to run as far from God as you can, give Him no thought, no regard, and no concern. It is to waste our life in self-indulgence, dissipation, and unrestrained lust. It is to shun all except what you want. It is reckless living that ends you up in the ‘pig slop’, bankrupt spiritually, empty, destitute, nobody to help, nowhere to turn, and facing death—most importantly, an ‘eternal’ death.

Question: Do you personally ‘fear’ that you may have strayed too far from God to be restored? Let me tell you, unequivocably, that you haven’t! God ‘longs’ for your return. His ‘arms’ are open wide in forgiveness and acceptance. God may ‘leave you to yourself’ for a while so you can ‘come to your senses’—but He will never ‘drive’ you away—and will receive you with open ‘arms’ when you decide to ‘return’.

God’s love has NO LIMITS, but just remember, there is ONE ‘LIMIT’. If you would like to be with God for eternity, you must ‘make your peace’ with Him before you ‘leave’ this earth!

P.S.

By the way, just as a footnote, you might be asking: “Where’s the older son in all of this?” “Why doesn’t he ever rise to the defense of the father’s honor?” “Why doesn’t he ever step up and protect the father?” “Why isn’t there a verse in the parable that says something like: “But the older son went to the younger and rebuked him for dishonoring the father?” The answer: Because he didn’t love the father either! He was happy to get his share, stay at home, and be provided for. He is equally unloving, and equally ungrateful—and he has no investment in the father’s affections whatsoever. He is the ‘hypocrite’ in the house.

We see this when the older brother is grumbling in the corner while the party is in full swing. Many of us, if we’re honest, secretly identify with him. It just doesn’t seem fair. There he was, faithful and obedient all those years, and the “bad seed” got ‘showered’ with attention just because he did something good for once.

But, what Jesus is pointing out is that both brothers are accepted into the same ‘grace’. The “good” brother did not realize it, but he was surrounded by the exact same unconditional love.

Remember what the father said to the older son: “Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.” The ‘steady’ brother had simply lost this perspective and become mired in a hidden attitude of self-righteousness and pride.

Back in the Old Testament in Isaiah (57:19), we read that God affirms peace to those who are ‘far off’ and to those who are ‘near’. This is what the father sets out to do. Through a great dramatic action, he is going to announce peace to one who is far off—who has been at a great distance—and then he will proclaim peace to one who is near (the older brother).

But as it turns out, the younger son actually came out ‘ahead’—he’s been forgiven. The older brother didn’t want it, didn’t think he needed it!

So. let us all of us believers rejoice when someone, trapped in sin, is welcomed into the Father’s arms. Just remember, you were no ‘better’ when God embraced you with forgiveness—so this should remind all of us of our own ‘homecoming’, and fill us with an eagerness to share the delights of belonging to the Father!

[To view a modern version video of the Prodigal Sons parable:

http://www.spiritedesign.com/ProdigalSons/ModernVersion.html ].

[To read about the love of God:

http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d4_1of10.html ].

[Excerpts from: John MacArthur; RBC Ministries; Charles Haddon Spurgeon]

Blessings…Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v127) for SEPTEMBER 2009

If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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THE PRODIGAL SON

A Prodigal son once strayed from his father

To travel a land of hunger and pain

And now I can see the end of my journey

I’m going to heaven a-gain.

I leave you the day, to help all your neighbors

I leave you the night, to solemnly pray

So try to repent and ask for forgiveness

We’ll meet up in heaven, someday.

Goodbye to this world, with all its sorrows

Goodbye to the fields, that I used to roam

I’m going away where, life is eternal

My Shepherd is callin’ me home.

From out of the sky, He’s coming to meet me

To wash all my sins and call me His own

His servants will bring, a ring for my finger

And never no more will I roam.

[Song recorded by Hank Williams, Sr. / Words and music by Jenkins]

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REPENTANCE

Not everyone is as fortunate as Alfred Nobel, who in 1888 read his own obituary in a French newspaper. One of his brothers had died, but a careless reporter had used a statement prepared for the wrong man.

Alfred, the principal inventor of dynamite, was disappointed with the published account. He was described as a “merchant of death” who had made a fortune from explosives and human exploitation. This haunting image caused him to reevaluate his life and revamp his will. Consequently, his money has made possible awards for individuals who excel in making the world a better place. We call these awards the Nobel Prize.

Like Alfred Nobel, whose realization caused a reversal in lifestyle, the younger sibling in Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son comes to the realization that his life of frivolity and waste had to be reversed. He had run out of opportunities, but he humbled himself to go home to his father, offering himself as a mere servant. Instead of banishing his son, the father welcomed his son home with open arms, saying “This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” [Luke 15:24].

When we repent of what we have done and humbly come before the Master asking for forgiveness, our Lord rejoices. To Him, we are a ‘lost child’ who came home. Today, let’s thank God for leaving an open invitation for us to come home by turning away from our sins and running back to Him.

[Timely Truths-Heartlight Magazine]

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HOUND OF HEAVEN
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbéd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat-and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet-
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”

I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
Yet was I sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.)
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to:
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars:
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden-to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
From this tremendous Lover-
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue;
Or whether, Thunder-driven,
They clanged his chariot ‘thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:-
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbéd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat-
“Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.”

I sought no more that after which I strayed
In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children’s eyes
Seems something, something that replies,
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
“Come then, ye other children, Nature’s-share
With me” (said I) “your delicate fellowship;
Let me greet you lip to lip,
Let me twine you with caresses,
Wantoning
With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,
Banqueting
With her in her wind-walled palace,
Underneath her azured dais,
Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.”
So it was done:
I in their delicate fellowship was one-
Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.
I knew all the swift importings
On the wilful face of skies;
I knew how the clouds arise
Spuméd of the wild sea-snortings;
All that’s born or dies
Rose and drooped with; made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine;
With them joyed and was bereaven.
I was heavy with the even,
When she lit her glimmering tapers
Round the day’s dead sanctities.
I laughed in the morning’s eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
I laid my own to beat,
And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says,
These things and I; in sound I speak-
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
Let her, if she would owe me,
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
The breasts o’ her tenderness:
Never did any milk of hers once bless
My thirsting mouth.
Nigh and nigh draws the chase,
With unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
And past those noised Feet
A voice comes yet more fleet-
“Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me.”

Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
And smitten me to my knee;
I am defenceless utterly.
I slept, methinks, and woke,
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years-
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist.
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
Ah! is Thy love indeed
A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
Ah! must-
Designer infinite!-
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou can’st limn with it?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpséd turrets slowly wash again.
But not ere him who summoneth
I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields
Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields
Be dunged with rotten death?

Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at hand the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
“And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught” (He said),
“And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited-
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!”
Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
“Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.”
[Francis Thompson (1859-1907)]



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DEEP THOUGHT

“If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.”

[Benjamin Franklin].

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!  Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“But when he was yet a great way off; his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” [Luke 15:20].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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