1 Corinthians 13:7 “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (NLT)
|Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son|
His tired gray eyes scanned the horizon just as they had done time after time, day after day, for who knows how long. Ever since his youngest son had demanded his portion of the inheritance and took off to places unknown, this loving father had prayed and waited and watched. How many times had he heard a strange sound and run to the window to search the horizon for the familiar figure of his precious boy? He had lost count a long time ago.
At first he was sure the prodigal would quickly recognize the error of his ways and come running home, but as the weeks turned into months, his friends and other family members tried to prepare him for the worst. “It’s time to move on,” they would say. “You did your best, but he has chosen his path. Focus your attention on your oldest and put thoughts of the other behind you.”
But the Father would not give up or lose faith. Every day hope would blossom again in his chest like a crocus pushing its way through frozen soil on which the sun has cast its warm rays. He lifted another pleading prayer towards heaven and again scanned the
winding road for the answer to his constant petition.
As always, nothing but a breeze stirred the dust on the little traveled path.
But wait! The gray-headed parent paused and cocked his ear to listen. His tender heart sensed more than heard the far off tread of timid feet. He turned his eager eyes once more towards the avenue leading to his farm and his great compassionate heart leaped in his chest.
Without a thought for his arthritic limbs he started down the path as fast as he could go. He picked up speed as the approaching figure came clearly into view. The weight in his chest subsided. The potent stench of swine lingered in the air but only hastened the exuberant man’s mad rush. Upon reaching the lone figure he threw his arms around his neck and rejoiced. “I knew you would come! I never gave up hope!”