It’s 8:50 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011. I’ve been up since 4. I let my two dogs out to “use the tree,” as we call it, at 4:50 am.
My German Shepherd Treva came bounding back within the typical 90 seconds. My fifteen year old, deaf, cancer-ridden miniature schnauzer, Watson, did not. And he still hasn’t come home.
So I’ve mustered husband, sister-in-law, neighbors, the fellow who runs the horse barn near by, joggers and landscape workers in the search for Watson. Many know how I feel about him, so their foreheads are lined when we talk. A number have been driving around looking for him since before 6. Others have been walking our neighborhood and the Lake Brandt trail behind our house in search of Watson.
I was walking in the woods looking for his sweet self- listening intently for his familiar bark or the rustle of leaves that might foreshadow his presence. A thought came: when we hear or read the story of the Prodigal Son, we view it from the perspective of the son. But what about the Father’s perspective? Is how I feel today, with my heart heavy, eyes brimming, looking around every corner, jumping when the phone rings, holding on to hope that I’ll see him again not the perspective of the Father? He waits, hour after hour, day after day, for any news of his beloved child, hoping to see a small figure in the distance who comes closer, closer- yes, his flesh and blood is finally home!
Is that not how God is? The Father of all us prodigals? Open-armed. Forgiving. Ready to throw a party to celebrate our return to where we belong. Home.
His heart aches for those who have not yet chosen to return to His loving embrace. Today is the day, return to Him.
Make His day. Come home.