As I pondered all the ways I disobeyed the Lord, I am reminded of a tender Father in Luke chapter 15 whose arms remain open. My faith feels raw, discordant, jagged. The words that describe me affectionately in this love letter by my Father, I do not recognize.
The fight remains to stay and believe; to wrestle with my own powerlessness that eventually yields under the strength of relentless affection.In Andrew Bauman’s book, stumbling toward wholeness, “Scripture in general and the parable of the prodigal in particular-informs us that all redemptive change begins when we see ourselves accurately through God’s eyes.”… Click To Tweet In Luke chapter 15, both sons need a revelation of grace. The younger son pursued a life of pleasure and wanted to discover who he was in his independence. The younger son needed to know the love of his father brought out his… Click To Tweet
The dutiful older son felt resentful towards the younger sonwho was celebrated despite his defiant wayward choices. The older son needed arevelation he was celebrated and always adored by his Father, yet he did notsee it. His identity was defined by his performance rather than a son whoreceived his fathers love despite his father’s daily presence.
Thus, mere proximity does not automatically equate to intimacy. Grace flows through a posture of an open and receptive heart. The decision to receive love begins by opening the heart to the concept that love does exist.
Both relationships needed revelation of the real intimacy available to them to partake in the grace that was lavished upon them. Perhaps, both sons were prodigals shielding their hearts from affection that could set them free.
As Andrew states in his book, ” the scandalous message of the gospel is that God loves us despite our self-righteousness, entitlement and greed and invites us into relationship and resurrection. Transformation begins as we surrender.” pg 109
As i ponder on the jewels in this book, I reflect on how grief and owning our silence are keys to ultimately arriving at engaging kindness, as Andrew purports.
In stumbling to wholeness, Andrew tenderly reminds us, wholeness is offered to us and we can in that process, tether ourselves to the resurrected life. To get a fresh look at this sacred process, I encourage you to allow yourself to be challenged by the truths offered in this book, to purchase your copy go here
If I am honest, then I have to say my life growing up looked like a pendulum between the lives represented by the two sons.
If I am honest, I am and have been perfectly prodigal and this, all the reason more, to revel in grace.
What times in your life have you hid behind wanton pleasure or dutiful performance to find your identity? In what ways, can you bring spaces of stillness into your routine and be grateful for the process of growth?
Luke 15: 20 So he got up and came to his [own] father.But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved withpity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed himfervently.