Reflecting on Luke 15:1-32
He came home, finally. Yes, I saw him staggering towards the gate. Even though I’ve spent all these months staring at the road, willing for him to appear in the distance, I was too shocked to recognize him. He’s lost so much weight he barely resembles the boy I love, the one I fed and cared for, the one I taught to ride a bike and jump off the high dive. His mother didn’t drink coffee for nine months while she was pregnant with him so that he could have the best start in life.
We’d been searching for him, of course. After he walked away from the rehab center we knew he’d go right back to the streets. He found his dealer and went straight back to using. He even admitted that he was the one who broke the window in the basement and stole the computer last winter. The truth is, we were secretly relieved. He remembered where he lived.
The kids are torn. They were crying and hugging him and telling him how much they missed him. But I know they’re really scared now. It’s been a year of anxiety for all of us, wondering if he was dead in some crack house. Now we all have to live with the tension of having him back. He’s back in treatment and he really does seem like he’s beat it this time.
His older brother held back from hugging him. There’s been a lot of betrayal there. It’s going to take a lot of work to repair the damage.
Can you make the welcome home party on Saturday?
How do you reconcile today’s gospel with what we know about addiction?