“After the Party”: A Poem Inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son – By Charumathi R Rao. (SUMite)
Charu, sent this post following the Prodigal son series. Want to share it with the SUM Nation. Hugs, Lynn
Charu BIO: I live in the metro DC area. Originally from India - relocated here for my job. Have lived in the US for about 12 yrs now. Been married for 15 years this August, No kids. I have a full time job that keeps me busy. But heart is in writing, reading and teaching the Bible, and speaking about Jesus to anyone and everyone He brings my way :) I LOVE Jesus. And my life's goal and daily prayer is to point people to Jesus as long as I live - as He would so grant and enable. My husband is now saved too and got baptized over a year ago. -Charu
After the Party
He threw a party for me, to welcome me back!
After I’d gone and lost all his wealth,
I’d broken his heart, shamed his fame,
Yet here he is, calling my name.
I am worn and weary, dirty and weak,
Was hoping to quietly fall at his feet;
Pleading my faults in submission meek,
Yet I saw him, come running to greet.
My brother is angry and so are his friends,
The servants - they wonder if Dad’s lost his head!
A party? – they said, for this one? who strayed?
A party He said – for I’d prayed and prayed.
After the party, I’ve shed many tears,
Counting the losses and the wasted years,
I battle the guilt, the fear and the shame,
Yet, once again, I hear him calling my name.
After the party, when others didn’t believe,
And when I was too afraid, to step out and live;
I see his eyes, and remember how it felt
To be back in his arms, safe and alive…!
As the years, have gone by, I no longer mope,
I’ve slowly, but surely, come to know well
That my father has a plan – a future and a hope!
As I securely, in his care and presence dwell.
I know above all, that I am my father’s child,
And that ‘He’, my lot and my portion provides.
Though trials may come, and temptations wild,
I’ll rest in peace, as his love, forever abides…!
This is a poem inspired by one of Jesus’s well-known parables. Known as the parable of “The Prodigal Son”, this story is recorded in the Bible in the gospel of Luke chapter 15 from verses 11-32. This story revolves around a father who has two sons. The younger son demands a share of his inheritance from the father and goes away to a distant land while the older son continues to stay and work with his father. The younger son – the prodigal, wastes all his inheritance away in the distant land and gets to a point where he has nothing left and no one to help him. At his lowest point, he ends up tending pigs in the distant land and not having to eat even what the pigs have. Upon reflection, he realizes that even the servants in his father’s house were treated better than he was now, and coming to his senses, decides to go back and plead for his father to take him in – at least as a servant. He had no expectations about reclaiming his position as a son and only hoped for a servant’s place. While he was on his way back, his father sees him from a far distance and comes out running to greet him and restores him as his son. The father throws a party to celebrate this son’s return and would not look at him as anything less than his son – his dearly loved son. The story goes on to show the father dealing with the anger the older brother expresses at the father’s generous treatment of his ‘prodigal sibling’ and with the father encouraging the older son to love his prodigal brother (I recommend reading the Bible verses to have a better understanding of the parable and therefore this poem).
While the parable ends with the big party the father threw to celebrate his son’s return and his exchange with the older brother, I have often pondered what impact all this had on the prodigal son since his return and how it shaped his life going forward. This poem is partly an imagination of the son’s struggles with himself and his life ‘after the party’ and partly inspired by my own journey back to Christ after some years of living a prodigal life and the struggles I’ve faced since in my thought life and what I have learned about Our Father’s heart. You see – it doesn’t mean we have arrived, when we first come to Christ or come back to Him after going away. In fact, our journey just begins when we come to Christ i.e. when we truly, sincerely accept Him as the Lord of our life. We still must deal with the consequences of our choices during our prodigal years. This can be a hard load to bear – alone. Even after we are back in our Father’s care, even after we have been restored with blessings in our physical or material life, we may continue to struggle with our thought life – at times not being able to fully process the forgiveness and restoration He offers. Yet with Him, all things are possible. And, it is in that process of restoration, that true healing occurs, as He slowly chips away all that is ugly and unnecessary in us. He works in us and on us, until all that is left is what ‘He’ originally intended us to be – beautiful, cherished and dearly loved – His children bearing His image. Yes, He works in us and on us until we can let Him work through us to love His other children in this world.
Within the safety of our Father’s arms, we can continue to face all our struggles courageously and rest in peace knowing that we are loved by our Father. In His arms, there is peace, safety, provision, comfort, love and joy.
This poem is dedicated to each of you who face similar struggles – in your own journey with Him. This is dedicated to ‘you’, dear reader, no matter where you are on this journey, even if you haven’t taken the first step yet.
You have a Father who loves you more than you may ever understand. He longs to hold you in His arms.
Be assured that you will be “truly safe” when in His arms. Blessings…!