After a weekend away from my young son, I sit on my couch this morning and realize that today I more deeply understand The Parable of the Prodigal Son. I am anxious for his return, in spite of the wonderful time I know I will have with my other child at home before he returns. I think the parable takes on a new meaning once you have children of your own. Perhaps it only then takes on the real meaning. But to get there, you must first have that total and complete love for a child. Your child.
The love you have for a child is far beyond any other feeling.
It is a different love than what you hold in your heart for your spouse. Love of a spouse is a love of partnership and trust and sharing and respect that transcends all time. Love of a spouse is a precious gift you share between you forever.
Love of your child is a deep unabiding protective love. The love that gives you the strength to nurture, even when you face hardship or despair of your own. It is that love of your child pulls you through and keeps you from wallowing in your own hardship because you have a greater purpose.
The blessing of the love you hold for your child is that the love you give is the source of the strength you hold that enables you to give it. It is a magic circle of inner strength.
And so, perhaps The Parable of the Prodigal Son is also about that magic circle of inner strength gifted to you as a parent. Perhaps.