“This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found.” Luke 15:32
I guess I may have been considered the prodigal child in our family when I left home three weeks after graduating from high school. I took a bus from Des Moines to San Francisco to be closer to my future husband stationed in the Bay Area. The big difference between the prodigal son in Luke and my story, is that I asked for nothing from my parents. I boarded the bus with two suitcases (a graduation present), and around sixty dollars cash. I still remember my parents taking me to the bus depot and my father handing me a dollar bill, “I owe you this,” he said. A dollar in 1964 would at least buy me a lunch.
I spent that summer living in a YWCA in Oakland and working for a temp agency. Before getting kitchen privileges, I ate out of a little cooler–peanut butter and jam sandwiches, apples, bananas, and whatever wouldn’t spoil. After three months, Glen’s ship moved down the coast to San Diego. I followed him and began the search for a job. After two weeks, and no prospects of a job, Glen put me on a train and sent me home.
As with the prodigal son, my parents opened their arms to their crazy daughter, yet only eighteen years old, and gave my bedroom back to me, plus three meals a day. No more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and an apple for dessert.
Thank you, God, for being the Father who welcomes us back home after we have strayed. Amen.