Finding Home, Part 1 of 4

A Lenten Meditation on Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

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Home. That place, really that state of existence where one is free to be who one is and to become, to discover who one will be.

Home. That state of being in which one dwells secure in the assurance of acceptance in the presence of love.

Home. Earnestly sought, I believe, by all at all times and found, I hope, at least, by some sometimes. And sometimes, it seems to me, one has to leave – run away from – home in order truly to find it.

The Parable of the Prodigal (outrageously profligate, extravagantly wasteful) Son is a tale of a son who says to his father, “Give me my inheritance.” Not a particularly outlandish request, assuming that there is an inheritance to grant. Except for the fact that an inheritance is a bequest given at the time of death. The son, in asking for an early distribution of his birthright, in effect, wishes that his father was dead. So, this not-so-nice petition was, at least, impolitic and impolite and, at worst, crude and cruel.

Nevertheless, the father, as prodigal, as outrageously profligate, extravagantly wasteful as his son, agrees. The son leaves home, journeys to a far country, squanders his inheritance in riotous living, and was destitute.

© 2022 PRA

#homeiswheretheheartis #homeiswheretheselfis #lookingforhome

6 thoughts on “Finding Home, Part 1 of 4

  1. Hmm…….. New thought for me, Paul, that the prodigal son’s asking for his inheritance before his father dies, is, in effect, wishing for the father’s death. It makes sense: either the early grant of the legacy or the death of the father would offer him that part of his father’s being that seems, from the story, foremost in his mind – the material goods he is “owed.” Almost all children leave home, dissolving the most intimate parental ties of childhood, but few ask for the share of worldly goods they believe they are entitled to as they go. I’ll now look at the story with that nuance in mind…..

    Looking forward to the next three installments!

    Love,

    Karen

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  2. Karen, long have I thought…felt that the Parable of the Prodigal Son might well be entitled The Parable of the Prodigals. For each of the three primary characters — the father and the two sons — for me, display characteristics of prodigality; wastefulness. Moreover, to one of your observations, it is only the father who acts out of prodigal (unconditional) love. The sons, each and both, in their individual fashions, function on the impulse of being owed some material measure.

    More to come…

    Love

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  3. Thank you Paul for your words and Karen for your comment. So much to think about!!! One of my most dominant thoughts since my Mom’s death on Jan 31st has been HOME!!! She always wanted to go there, and said so hundreds of time per day. Home for her though I think was where she was RAISED and not the house in DC where I was born and she lived much of her adult life. But because she didn’t OWN anything of her own and it was her parents house, I’m not sure it was ever home to her. She did get to split the proceeds of the sale of the house with her siblings after my grandparents death and then she went to a HOME, her retirement community that she picked for herself with my sister and I by her side and paid for herself. i hope Mom is at peace in her HOME now. This story of the Prodigal Son has always bothered me. The sheer gall of asking for your inheritance and YES I’d say wishing your parent’s death to get it is one part, but I also know that like the father in the story, I would likely give the money to the child and that doesn’t make me happy. I know you are aware that I’ve had great difficulty accepting that when I die my hard-earned money may be spent wastefully much like with the son in the story. I guess since I’ll be dead I shouldn’t care, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care. I hope that whomever gets my funds will help others with it, and pay it forward. This week one of the greatest feelings of my life was to give Mom’s caregiver Janet a “scholarship” with Mom’s life insurance money for a CNA course to help her earn a better living and fair wages so she can care for MANY more people just liked she cared for Mom. Mom was BIG on education so I KNOW she is smiling!! Janet’s course starts on Monday and the books were delivered to her yesterday!! Janet had so much to do with Mom feeling so at HOME the last 3 years and for that I am grateful!

    Thank you for reading all this!

    Love

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    1. Loretta, Loretta, Loretta, you are a gift to the world! Your kindness to and for and with Janet amazes me! Not that you would think of such a thing. And not that you would do such a thing. But rather my amazement arises and abides in my anticipation of who Janet will be and what Janet will do — even as I have not met her and likely will not meet her — with this life-boost that you have provided. Amazing!

      My mother, in the shadows of Alzheimer’s disease often spoke of going home. Not until she did was I to learn that her long-term memory had taken her back to the place in St. Louis where she grew up; which I hadn’t known until I inquired of other family members as to what my mother’s reference might have been. I recall driving by the house on Enright Avenue and, for the first time, seeing the home where my mother was raised.

      And, Loretta, regarding our bequests and who will receive them and how they might use (or misuse) them… That’s one of the things about life’s material possessions. None of us can take any of it with us. Hence, we, perforce, must leave it all to others. We do the best we can, I believe, in making our discernments and decisions about how best to design our bequests. Then, once done, it is done.

      Love you

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      1. Thank you BOTH Paul & Karen!!! Wow Paul I didn’t know that story about your mom!! So glad you inquired about her meaning of home and got to see it!!

        Karen stop cleaning!! I’m going to just focus on us being together and the fact that you so kindly invited me into your home!!! I can’t wait to have more discussions about HOME when I see you!!

        Looking forward to the other parts of the series!!

        Love y’all!!

        Loretta

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    2. Great comments, Loretta. “Home” is a really BIG word, isn’t it? I feel pretty confident that your mom is home now and surrounded by all the things and people she was missing when she wanted to go home all those years. Now it’s you who is missing the home that your mom has been to you all your life. I feel that longing a lot too these days, to return to a place of love, peace, and belonging, which, honestly, is not necessarily a place I’ve ever really completely experienced in this life. Maybe we know it from before we were born?

      There are so many connections to home and what it means to be home, what we can and should expect from our homes, and what makes a place or a situation home in the story of the Prodigal Son, and I would bet we’re going to hear more about those things from Paul this week! And then we can talk about them when you get to MY home (which I’ve been working on tidying up and organizing a bit today in anticipation of your visit).

      Looking forward to hearing more about leaving and returning home and what makes home, home during the rest of the week.

      Love to both of you,

      Karen

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