Monday, 15 June 2020

The Elder Brother (Prodigal Part 4)

Luke 15:25-28

“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him.

I’ve always had sympathy
perhaps even empathy 
for the other son 
The one who stayed
Kept things going
Did the right thing
All the while grudging
the burden he assumed
When the prodigal returned
to a hero’s welcome
there was no room left
in the elder brother
for celebration
or forgiveness
He’d already filled up
on resentment
and bitterness
No room for grace 
in a heart filled with grudge
No room for growth
in a life stunted with grief
No room for vision
in eyes misted with rage
Blinded to the abundance 
that was his for the taking
he chose to hold on to
his sense of loss
rather than reach for
a new lens 
that might reveal
a whole new vista
of possibility.
Sometimes
it’s just easier
to hold on to hurt
and disillusionment
than to open ourselves
to the transformative nature
of reframing the past
and re-imagining
the future
When we’ve been there
done that 
and already have the T shirt
our wounds become
our protective layer
an outer shell
that keeps us
from further hurt.
And who can blame us
for not wanting
to go back for more?
Elder brother status
is hard won
and even harder
to lay down.

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