The Prodigal Run

(Inspired by Luke 15:11-32)

Who’s that in the distance,
Running down the street,
Robe flapping behind him,
Dust cloud around his feet?

He’s hitched his robe up now,
Showing off his legs,
Undignified exposure
For a man of his age!

For a Hebrew elder
That’s unacceptable –
Undignified! Shameful!
Whoever could it be?

Oh no! It’s my father!

I know I must meet him –
That’s why I came back home,
I even had a plan –
I didn’t foresee this.

I’m trying to hold back,
Afraid of the scolding
The frown, and the harsh words,
That I so much deserve.

But he isn’t frowning.
He’s not even angry.
Father smiling at me!
Accepting! Welcoming!

I’m speechless! What can I say?

He walks! Dad always walks!
Why did he have to run?
He plans! He thinks ahead!
He never needs to rush!

But he rushed to hug me.
He rushed to bring me home.
And he threw a party –
Killing the fatted calf.

I’m so embarrassed!

I deserved a beating
That would be bearable –
I earned it, didn’t I?
Why didn’t he slap me?

Then I’d feel justified.

He exerted himself –
And he humbled himself –
Maybe disgraced himself –
Selfless, generous love.

Love so strong that it hurts

I’m astounded! Humbled!
My Father ran to me!
He actually ran!
And now I’m safely home.

©Derrick Phillips 2022

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