Monday, March 12, 2007

Father Son and Family Goat

The prodigal son parable is a picture of the typical family. It portrays the complexity of emotions and situations many families are threatened with. The human heart is volatile and restless for fulfillment and for acceptance. This human condition is a constant threat to the family structure. In reading the story one is aware of many incidents in ones own family that have similar trace elements. Not exactly the same, each family is a complex network of past, present and future happenings all playing themselves out with open and hidden agendas. Not one of the characters in reality can stand as a picture of absolute stability and integrity. The hopelessness often felt in family situations is the realization that we are all fracture beings trying to mend our lives whilst at the same time trying to mend our relationships and world. Where one son is finding life in the family another is cutting himself off. Lessons are learnt in each sons scenario, the first sons learnt humility through past mistakes and the second son learning a father’s ways of appreciation. A parable is limited in what it can say, but it should not go without the thought that the father may learn something from his sons too. In the next chapter of this parable it could be the father who learns how to show his feelings and celebrate the joy of a son that was always there with him. The prescribed meaning of this parable is the lesson of the lost soul returning home, but the unofficial version could be the lesson of how to celebrate the relationships that are constantly before our eyes.

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