This was something I wrote just before I left the Jesuits.
It’s a very special poem for me, not only because of the things I went through when I was writing the poem, but because in many ways, it is something that rings true for me today.
We journey through life thinking that we could stand on our own and we could make something of ourselves. And in so many ways that is true. The power of the prodigal son story for me, is not in the fact that it is a story of reconciliation–that the son is sinful and decided to come back; but that the Father allowed the son to go away in the first place. This is a Father greater than all our issues and angst and ambitions. This is a Father so secure in Himself that he allows us to make something out of ourselves–even if it means forgetting Him in the process.
Even as we continue to journey life’s highways and byways, let’s not forget to come home once in awhile.
The Prayer of the Prodigal Son
they all thought you were at home
but i got your message the other day-
the one that says you will be here for me-
and realized you knew where i was
and what i was doing.
you watched from a distance
as i wasted my life away.
you gave me time
knowing perhaps that i had to be far from you
to know how precious you really are to me.
(if you had watched more closely
you would have seen our picture
at my bedside table.
i look at it every night
and this may take a long time
but i am here too
on life’s byways and highways
looking for home
looking for you
looking for me.