“Celebrate and be glad, for this [child] of mine was dead and is alive again. “
If there is one story from the bible that speaks to me the most, it is the story of the prodigal son.
I know. I know. But before you quickly close the tab, I want you to know that, a) I recognize how completely “overdone” reflections on this particular passage are, b) that most of these said reflections are typically pretty high on the “cheese scale,” and c) I’m not here to waste either your or my time.
With that being said, let’s begin.
If you’ve never heard the story, it’s Luke 15:11-32.
Quick recap: A man had two sons. The youngest demanded his inheritance from his father and set off to a distant land where he squandered all the money on “wild living.” – Use your imagination. — Broke and alone, the son hired himself out to work on a farm, basically as a slave, where he was so hungry that he wished he could eat the slop he was feeding the pigs. Starving to death, the son decided to go back to his father and beg to be one of his hired servants, as he felt unworthy to be called his son anymore.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him. He ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”
But the father had his servants put the best robe on his son, a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. He had the fattened calf slaughtered. “Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.”
This story, every time I read it, I’m going to be honest, I get a little choked up. Because this was so instrumental in my recovery.
I am the younger son.
I am the squanderer. The son, starving in the pig trough. I demanded my inheritance from my Father and wasted it away.
Except the inheritance I demanded was not land or money. It was my life.
During my anorexia, I demanded the gift of my life from my heavenly Father. I demanded it and decided that I was going to give it to ED. Give it to Ana. Give it to my eating disorder. I was no longer living for Him, but for him – ED. And I was trapped. Caught in the destructive cycle, “feeding the pigs” if you will.
And even though I did all those things, turned away from God, and was living a life that was literally killing me, He took me back. Celebrated my return. Accepted me with open arms.
But you’ve heard that all before.
Here’s what really speaks to me about that story.
And it’s something that usually gets overlooked.
“But while [the son] was still a long way off, his father saw him.”
A long way off.
Ok, BBB – what’s the big deal – a long way off. Awesome. Dude’s got great eyesight. What gives?
Imagine a long dirt road. Miles long.
The father didn’t just sweep his eyes across the horizon and just happen to see the son walking as a dot in the far distance. It’s not like pops got lucky and happened to be at the right place at the right time to see the son approaching.
He was watching for him.
The father was watching for his son to come home. Waiting for him.
That day was no special day that he decided to watch the road – he had been doing it habitually. Awaiting his beloved son’s return, day in, day out. Until one day, the father saw a pin point far off in the distance on the road – his son.
AND THEN HE RAN.
He ran towards his son to hug him. Love him. Embrace him.
Every. Single. Day. for the three-ish years I was entrenched in my anorexia, Jesus was out on that road looking for me. Waiting for me. Hoping that He would see me approaching in the distance so that He could run to me and hug me and celebrate my return.
He never gave up on me.
And it’s not like I was skipping down the road, like, “Heyyyy Jesus! What upppp??”
No. I was literally crawling. Broken. Covered in pig shit like the son. Barely holding on. And that’s not a figure of speech. I was literally hanging by a thread. I was, in every sense of the word, dead – mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially, and yes, nearly physically – dead.
And He ran to me.
Lifted me up. Sustained me. Cleaned me up. Loved me. And celebrated my return.
There was nothing that I did that He did not forgive. Nothing that made Him repulsed by me. Even the pig shit. I did not gross Jesus out. I did not disgust Him, even though I probably definitely should have.
I was embraced. Forgiven. Brought back to life.
And you will be too.
“Celebrate and be glad, for this [child] of mine was dead, and is alive again.
87 responses to “Alive Again”
Oh, how cool… Thank you for sharing this one. it seems we have a very, very similar Father, as I came to a very similar conclusion some years back… http://wp.me/pNE4Y-3n
Take care & God bless
Thanks tom. I appreciate that so much:) so glad you stopped by!
This is such a beautiful post! Just after I had started recovery, there was a sermon on this exact passage at my church and I was choked up the whole time! I absolutely LOVE this part of the Scripture and it really does give you a sense of hope and direction in recovery. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on it! xxx
Thank you so much. Isn’t it a comforting passage? To know how much we’re loved? Thanks for stopping by xx
Thank you so much Jay. I appreciate it
You obviously have a talent for writing and communicating. Keep it up.
Fight the good fight one day at a time.
I will add you to my Thursday prayers (Thursday is pray for friends day).
Oh gosh I appreciate that so much. Thank you Jay.
In Jewish culture at the time of Jesus, it would have been considered very undignified for the father who was betrayed (or any older man) to run to the son who betrayed him. Those hearing the story from Jesus would have been appalled. Henri Nouwen wrote a great book on this parable. So happy that He found you on the road.
Thank you so much. Wow that just speaks all the more to the unconditional love of the father. Thank you for that insight. Blessings
My favorite book, along with the Rembrandt painting it describes! I did a post about it if you’re interested. http://wp.me/p4w38l-4F
Ooh thanks tor this. Can’t wait to check it out! 😊😊
I have audio of this talk; can’t remember where I got it, but it’s in my iTunes library. Similar theme to the prodigal son with an emphasis on God waiting for us.
Great thanks. I can’t wait to take a listen 😊
Well done! This parable actually stands as an example we are being searched for. People tend to place Jesus in a fixed location and we have to go and find him. He’s actually on the hunt..looking for us.
You’re so right. Thanks for such kind words. I love your insight!!
Amen my Sister in Christ, I you am alive again like never before because the old is dead and gone and the new is here to stay! Love your posts, so beautifully put together with some humor because laughter is good for the soul. Thanks for your transparency and letting us be a part of your journey!
Amen! The new is here to stay!! Thanks for the encouragement. ☺️ blessings friend
This post hit me deep. So good! I love your honesty and vulnerability. You’re incredible, keep up the amazing work. God is doing amazing things through you <3
Oh my gosh Ashley that means so much. Thank you. I’m so glad this struck a chord with you. Thanks for stopping by xx
Beautiful! So well put – your writing touches me deeply – thank you so much for sharing so openly and freely – you make a difference <3 I have shared on Twitter and my FB <3
Thank you so much Mindy. Gosh, that means so much. Seriously. Thank you. Blessings to you and yours xx
Awesome, honest, insightful, Holy Spirit inspired post love it. And I love that you are real. Not many are
Gosh thank you Melissa. I appreciate that. God is good. It’s all His doing – I’m just the broken vessel. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings friend
This is beautiful. Thanks for stopping by and liking my post on Grace so that I could come and read this. I, too, have been struck by the thought of the father running to his wayward son – the son who was hoping just to be able to beg, even for just a lowly position… to experience that kind of welcome must have been mind blowing. Thanks for reminding me of how good this “overdone” old story really is.
Thank you Ruth. It really is amazing His love for us. So much comfort in this story. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to reading more from you! Xx
Great post as always 🙂 The bible story you cite fits perfectly not only with what you detail from your past, but it can also speak to our pasts as well depending on what we as individuals have been through. In other words, the person one runs away from always (at least based on my observations so far) seems to be the one who welcomes one back. I hope that makes sense to you and your readers 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always and again, your blog entries are truly inspirational 🙂
Thank you so much John. It definitely makes a lot of sense. We all have different “pig troughs” we find ourselves in. But no matter what we are taken back with open arms. Thanks for stopping by and for your eloquent insight:)
Beauty beyond bones… How true in so many ways is your blog title! These words are precious, this post showing the beauty of Christ’s love for us, the beauty in God’s redemption plan for us, the beauty of God’s love for us and most clearly the beauty that is YOU and all that is inside you. Praise Jesus that He ran to you, picked you up, held you and sustained you for we are all blessed by having you here with us, sharing, encouraging, teaching. Thank you!
Thank you so much. The kind words mean so much. Yes, praise be to God that He ran to me. This story brings so much comfort and the best is that it is true. For each an every one of us. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings.
BBB – thank you. I like your version of this as it is very real and relevant to today.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you taking true time to read it! Have a wonderful day. 😊
It’s fantastic that you are alive again. I hope this can happen to me, I just have to put all my trust in the Lord like you have done, to be able to return with my life. Thank you so much for sharing this story, it was incredibly moving. Xx
Thank you friend. You will get there too. I believe in you❤️ life is a journey. Praying for you 💚thanks for stopping by and for your kind words xx
Thanks for this post it’s beautiful. When I went for confession for the first time after starting recovery I felt such a huge relief like a huge weight was removed from my shoulders. It’s so good to always feel welcomed like the lost son in this parable. God bless you.
Thank you so much. Wow, yes what a beautiful feeling forgiveness is, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing this. Glad you stopped by xx
beautiful and so true
Thank you so much. Glad you stopped by xx
Praise God. I needed this tonight!
Thank you so much. I’m so glad it struck a chord with you. Blessings friend.
Thanks for the like and great authentic post of His Grace and Love !
Thanks Joe! Yes, God is good, and it is in Him that we find our strength! Thanks for stopping by
This story HAS been told over, and over, and over. but not by you, and your method of communicating carries tremendous weight with many people. I hope that any doubters or non-believers out there pay special heed to this post.
God does, indeed wait, and He is ever watchful. He will wait for a long, long, LONG time. He will patiently endure any impetuous, petulant, disrespectful, and/or rebellious behavior from us for years and years. However, when we are done with our ‘tantrum’ and are ready to ‘come home’, He will see us and He will run to us with binding speed. Seriously, folks. I know this. I was almost dead and called out to Him for His forgiveness and He was right there. RIGHT. THERE. And I live today because He is ever watchful.
I pray for those following this blog who are in doubt or who, like I was, are engaged in some sort of private ‘war’ with God. I pray that you heed this woman’s advice and learn from her pain. I pray that you all find your way home.
He is waiting for you. And He is watching.
Outstanding job as always, my friend! You never disappoint.
🙌🙌🙌I’m giving you a standing ovation right now😊you’re so right. Binding speed. He’ll run. Love it. Thanks for such kind and thoughtful words tony. Have a wonderful day and thanks as always ford the support
I Love this so much!! love you lots and lots<3 <3 xxxx
Oh gosh thank you Amy 😊😊😊love you lots and lots too! Thanks for stopping by xx
thank you for stopping by my blog
No prob 😊
I wrote this post with you in mind: http://soulblindministry.com/2015/10/02/luke-1511-32-the-prodigal-son/
Gosh thanks! I can’t wait to read it when k get home!! 👍😊😊😊
Ahh!! You have me all choked up! What a beautiful write!!
Oh my gosh thank you so much:) I’m glad this struck a chord with you☺️ thanks for stopping by xx
The Lord did an exceptional job through you touching on these scriptures. Our God and Redeemer does stand gazing intently to see us turn to Him. There is a lie that satan uses on people and that lie is, “You have been too bad to be accepted back to God.” If you notice, as you said, the Father had the best robe put on and the family signet ring put on the son’s finger. The Father didn’t tell his servants take this pig-shit encrusted son of mine and clean him up and then put on the robe and ring. The significance of the Family signet ring is the Father completely restored the son and with the signet ring he could do business just as if he were the Father. God wants us to turn back to Him just as we are and we will be received just as we are. Now, did the Father expect the son to remain just as he was found? No, the Father wanted the son to come in and abide in His love. Very good job. God uses you so much.
Wow thank you for such a beautiful comment. I love your insight. You’re so tight. He’ll take is just as we are and celebrate us. Thanks for this reminder. Blessings to you friend xx
Thank u for the lovely illustration, got me in tears
Oh thank you so much. I am glad this resonated with you:) I appreciate you stopping by! Blessings xx
In one way or other, we all relate to this message. Thank you.
Thank you friend. Hugs and love to you thanks for stopping by xx
We grow and learn from the wisdom of others. Blessings!
Thank you for visiting my blog. I love what you’re doing here on BBB. Honesty + Engaging Writing Style + Willingness to Share = Life-changing Gift to Others. Way to go.
Oh my gosh Kimberly. Thank you. What a kind thing to say. You just made my night. Thanks for stopping by:) you = awesome 😍
[…] Source: Alive Again […]
Yea..that point has always pierced me deep..
He was watching…He was waiting…
Even after years of hurting Him, My Father kept waiting…for ME
So true. Isn’t that just a comforting thought??thanks!for sharing my link too!!❤️
This brought tears to my eyes! Love the way you communicate the effect of God’s grace upon you, so fun and contemporary with the gifs! I did a blog post about the Nouwen book if you’re interested: http://wp.me/p4w38l-4F
Thanks Jane. I appreciate such kind words xx blessings to you
[…] ‘Alive Again.’ – If you want to know how worth it recovery is, read this post. Recovery is worth […]
Oh, so many times I had this Bible story running through my head as I, too, gave my life to ed. But Jesus did take it all back and forgave me. Is it not awesome that He does that freely for us? Praise Him! Thank you for sharing and reminding me of His steadfast love! God bless.
Thanks lizzy. You’re so right. It is an incredible incredible gift. Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement!
Thanks for sharing, homie. 🙂 Anorexia is some seriously heavy stuff, I know about that first hand. I’m really glad to hear you’re doing better. And serious thanks for writing about it on here to give people who are still in that place some hope. The fact that God can help people through the hardest situations imaginable is just insanely moving to me. Jesus is way cool. 😛
Peace and love.
Thank you so much. Oh my gosh I couldn’t agree more. Way cool 🙂 so glad you stopped by! Thanks for the positivity!
Thanks for checking out my blog earlier 🙂 I decided to check yours out, I’m so glad I did! Love this post about the prodigal son…you make a great point about God watching over us just waiting for us to turn to him! His grace is amazing 🙂
Thank you so much! You’re absolutely right: His grace IS amazing!! Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to reading more from you 🙂 hugs!
Your a lovely person, really lovely x
Oh gosh thank you. That’s kind of you to say:) thanks for stopping by
Your sentiments are admirable, and it lifted my spirits reading some of your writings. Keep writing, I like you write and not everyone comments. But I know how nice it is to be appreciated x
❤️❤️❤️❤️thank you friend
beautybeyondbones if I could I would give you a big (((HUG))) I loved your focus on the Prodigal Son and yes it is my favorite too and the link below answers why.
Did you know beautybeyondbones that it was not dignified for an older man in those times to run and yet the father ran to his Son when he saw him in the distance and the Angels rejoice over one sinner who repents and it is so True as you shared; Jesus never condemns us but He does say go and sin no more and He has set us free from sins slavery so we can, yes No temptation will be greater than we can bear.
Christian Love Always – Anne.
Hi Anne, thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words 🙂 This story always brings me so much comfort. God is so good and loving. thanks for stopping by! take care xx
Blessings – Anne.
Thanks for sharing ❤️ looking forward to checking it out.
Hi beautybeyondbones you can hear the YouTube Song on your Blog Post, the e-mail link does not open.
Blessings – Anne
I am so happy that God has come to you so clearly, so thoroughly. A thought I’ll add from church recently. Pastor Mark reminded us of how the father ran. A rich man like him would wear very good clothing. That was usually a long, well made robe that reached to his ankles.
The father ran, which means he hiked his robe up to his hips and, in a very undignified sight, ran down the road. Imagine an old man running down a dirt road, his robe hiked up, stick legs churning, probably laughing/crying, whooping and shouting, Let the neighbors think what they will. It’s MY SON!
It’s MY BEAUTY!!!
He hiked up His robe and came bodily to earth; awfully undignified for God, eh? But cool!!
What an awesome and incredible image! (And a little silly too!😋) but wow what a magnificent thing to think about. How comforting. Thanks for sharing that this morning. How blessed and loved we are by a father who isn’t afraid to humble himself like that. Hugs to you Jeffrey!
You too, Beauty. By the way; sorry for the late reply. I was working a trade show in Memphis this morning, had to tear down, then drive home to Memphis. Long day. You might enjoy my posts tomorrow and Monday; two stories from my acting days. I got to work with some interesting folks.
When you inspired me to share my bypass story, I started thinking about other memories that would make good posts with a message. Thanks for such useful feedback!!
Hey Jeffrey! Wow sounds like a busy day. How awesome though. And I can’t wait to read your words tomorrow! ☺️☺️☺️