“He falls and covers his face with his hands because he is ashamed of his shame”…André Gide (1869-1951) from The Return of the Prodigal Son
My eyes are drawn to this truth written in a sentence from a century ago. The writer is bold in trying to interpret the story of the prodigal son. He delves deeper into his own mind for conversation and the reasons a son would leave his father.
“My son, why did you leave me?”
“Did I really leave you? Father, are you not everywhere? Never did I cease loving you.”
“…Why did you, the heir, the son, escape from the House?”
“Because the House shut me in. The House is not You, Father.”
“It is I who built it, and for you.”
“Ah! You did not say that, my brother did. You built the whole world, the House and what is not the House. The House was built by others. In your name, I know, but by others.”
I stopped reading the story here and wondered at the mindset of the writer. I could relate to his conversational thoughts. Many times I had felt hemmed in, all the while running from my Father in error. I read further the conversations of a man’s mind trying to comprehend love.
“I have known love which consumes.”
“The love which I want to teach you, refreshes. After a short time, what did you have left, prodigal son?”
“The memory of those pleasures.”
“And the destitution which comes after them.”
“In that destitution, I felt close to you Father.”
“Was poverty needed to drive you back to me?”
“I do not know. I do not know. It was in the dryness of the desert that I loved my thirst more.”
Again I stop reading. My mind is drawn into relating to my own prodigal character and what it would take to draw me back to my Father….