Tuesday, First Week of Lent

Tuesday, First Week of Lent

The Son Is Allowed to Go

“I thought the Lord, and he answered me…” Psalm 34:4

The love of the father embraces not just the return of the son but also the leaving of his child. That’s really important: the whole movement of leaving and returning is a movement done under the loving eyes of the father. The father does not say, “Don’t go.” That’s not the spirit of the story. The spirit of the story is, “Yes, son, go. And you will be hurt and it will be hard and it will be painful. And you might even lose your life, but I can’t hold you from taking that risk. And when you come back, I am here for you, just as I am also here for you now.”

In a very deep way, we are, in our lives, often leaving and returning. This isn’t just a one-time event; it’s an ongoing experience. Today, get in touch with your own leavings and returnings. I believe that in a very deep sense, one has to be convinced of God’s love in order to take the risk of leaving once in a while. There are moments when you may need to take a step back and go off for a while, and then come back. It’s important to understand that God’s love fills you and surrounds you whether you are leaving or returning, and that God waits with longing to welcome you on your return.

  • Oh Heart of my Heart, thank you for your blessings, especially of my leavings.


Lenten Reflections on the Parable of the Prodigal Son by Henri J. M. Nouwen