(Based on Luke 15:11-32)
Zechariah slowly closed his eyes as he heard the gate latch. He didn’t turn around. He had spent a lifetime investing in this farm, and a third of his wealth was now bouncing down the dirt lane out front.
In the pockets of the son he loved.
Zechariah remembered the gentle squeeze of his younger son’s fingers and his relentless questions. He remembered his wife’s reminders to be patient with the boy. He would be on his own one day, she said, and he would need the wisdom of his father. Zechariah longed to hear the voice of his wife now.
He jerked his eyes open at the sound of running feet. He turned to the gate, hopeful, but all he could see was Ezekiel’s back. The sound drew nearer, and Zechariah saw his older son, Samuel come around the side of the house.
“Double-crossing scoundrel,” Samuel shouted. He picked up a rock and threw it over the gate. It bounced to the side of the road. Samuel glared at Zechariah. “How could you do this? He doesn’t deserve your money.”
“He’s no brother of mine.” Samuel spat on the ground at Zechariah’s feet. “You’re not even dead, and you gave him the inheritance. You always did turn a blind eye. You let him and his worthless friends get away with murder. You think he’s going to care for you in your old age? You think he’s going to make a name for our family? He’s gone, and we’ll never see him again. Good riddance.” Samuel spun on his heels, leaving Zechariah alone with his thoughts.
Zechariah hobbled to his seat by the gate. He could already see the neighbors making their way down the lane. He would answer their questions. And then he would wait.
Because Samuel was wrong.
Zechariah had not been blind. And Ezekiel would come back.
If his recent behavior was any indication, he would come back penniless and broken, having tasted the best that the world had to offer.
But Zechariah had long labored to show his sons that he had much more to offer them than the world. His love was all they needed.
Neither one knew that yet, but they would.
How have you experienced God's love recently?
Know someone who would be encouraged by this? Please share!
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