Ethel's Writing's


The Prodigal (c) Ethel Hiday Wicksey


The Prodigal

            I have been doing a lot of thinking in the past few weeks. How often in your life do the people around you, especially the people you love the most, continue to make the wrong decisions over and over and over again? They come to you for advice. You take the time to pray with them. They fall right back into quick sand. Some times, it is as if they are always floundering and keep falling over and over and over, again. I have good news for you. They are not your responsibility. God has called you to love them and continue to pray for them. He never called you to go into the pigpen and wallow in the mud with them.

            When you read the story of the prodigal son, you never saw the father chasing after the son. The son came to the father and demanded his inheritance early. The father likely tried to persuade him to change his mind. Likely, after a session of prayer, the father turned his son’s life over to God. Then he handed his son the inheritance, and backed out of his son’s life and let him go. 

            The father was a rich man and gave his son, one-half of what he had. It must have been a lot of money. The son likely had many friends for some time. It likely took him a few years to blow his inheritance. 

            The day finally came when the son reached into his moneybag and found it empty. His newfound friends soon dispersed without a trace.

            He had squandered his money. He found some jobs, but could not do them. He was fat and out of shape from abusing his body with an unhealthy lifestyle for so many years. Finally, with no hope left, he accepted a job cleaning pigpens. A Jew touching a pig! Pigs were unclean. No Jew would touch a pig, or even worse muck out their stalls. 

            Hunger soon overtook him! The rich Jewish boy had to eat the swill; he fed to the pigs so he could stay alive.

            Take a close look at this situation. A rich Jew’s son all covered in pig slop.

That night as he laid his head on the straw, the boy dreamed of home. At home, he never had to worry about food. His clothes were cared for by the servants. All he had to do was clap his hands. His personal attendants would come running. The servants had a house with a soft bed and all the food they needed to eat.

            “If only my father would take me back as one of his servants, I would be better of than I am today.” He thought.

            Immediately when the thought came to his mind, he jumped up, gathered his meager possessions, and started to run home. Mile, after weary mile, he placed one food in front of the other. His exhausted, wasted young body climbed every hill remembering the day he left home. 

            “What if my father hates me and won’t even talk to me. If only I had listened to the wise council of my father. Oh God, I am sorry. Please forgive me. Help me to change. I will do anything you want me to do.”

            His strength was gone. It was the thought of his father’s love that gave him the energy to climb the last hill. Propelled by the thought of home, he placed one bruised foot in front of the other. The sun was just starting to bud over the horizon, as he reached the crest of the hill overlooking the valley his father called home. 

            He was limping up the walkway that led to the front door when he saw someone coming to meet him. It was his father with tears streaming down his face. As he got closer, his father started to run to him. The love in his eyes was overwhelming.

            “Son” he said, and then held him in his arms never to let him go again. The son was home where he belonged. In his fathers arms

God’s arms are outstretched to you, longing to hold you to His bosom. 

 Come, Come, all those who are heavy burdened and I will give you rest.

© Ethel Hiday Wicksey 


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