I spent this last weekend on a reflection and prayer retreat. We spent the weekend going through the story of The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32). I’ve heard this story many times, yet I had new insights that surprised me.
The question I continue to reflect on was one posed by Henri Nouwen in his book, The Return of the Prodigal Son,
“Do you still think we’re returning to a God who needs an explanation?”
Just after I began writing this, Matt was watching a rerun of CSI: Miami that was the first in a three-part, multi-city story arc. The story ended in Las Vegas on the original version of the show (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Season 10, episode 7, “The Lost Girl”). I get teary thinking of the final scene and how clearly it captures the Lost Son’s return home.
[Note: I so wish I could find this clip to post, retelling it just doesn’t do it justice].
Langston (Laurence Fishburne) had been going from city to city in search of a young girl named Madeline who was kidnapped and sold into a sex trafficking ring. He makes one final effort to reach her by using a fellow prostitute’s phone to text everyone in her network. The text said that Madeline’s mother wanted her to come home and “All she wants is her Maddie back.”
As Langston walked out of CSI that night, he spots a young woman outside, perceives she’s Madeline, and calls to her. She’s obviously been through hell and she asks him, “How do I go back after all of this?”
His reply chokes me up even now, “You just have to walk through the door.”
Such is the invitation the Father offered to both of his sons, no explanation needed: “You’re welcome in my house, you just have to walk through the door.”