Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes.

-Martin Luther


I look at the father of the prodigal and I have to wonder what possesed him to go so easy on his pig-sty project.  Here’s a guy with a kid who broke all the rules.  And then one day his lame excuse for a son comes dragging his sorry self out of the slop and back to the house just as pitiful as a dog who has just messed all over the Persian dining room rug.   And what does his father do? 

Does he read him the riot act?  Does he remind him of the rules he’s made a mockery of?  Does he send him out to the back alley to go and do some penance before he’s allowed to re-enter the house? 

No—he doesn’t.

 “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’

“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.”    (Luke 15:20-24, The Message Bible)

Despite the fathers own personal pain and embarrassment he runs out to greet and cover his smelly-broken son in kisses and does the unthinkable to follow—he throws him an all out bash!  

Maybe it’s time some of us realized that God’s love isn’t near as tough as ours.