October 18, 2005
But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
A man was on his way home by train. He was seated next to a minister—Pastor Rosenbloom. Noticing the man was nervous and agitated, the minister said, “Is there something wrong?”
The man said, “Well, I’m going home. About 20 years ago, I had a huge fight with my dad. I said a lot of things I didn’t mean and he said a lot of things he didn’t mean. I slammed the door and said I’d never come back…and I haven’t. I’ve never written or called. Several months ago, I decided I want to go home and visit my parents before they pass away. So, I wrote a letter and said:
“Mom and Dad, I want to come home. I’m going to be taking a train home. If it’s OK for me to come home, just take a white handkerchief and tie it in a tree near the railroad tracks on the farm. Then, I’ll know it’s alright for me to come.”
“The farm is right around the bend. I don’t know if the handkerchief is going to be there or not and I don’t know if I’m even welcome home.”
The preacher said, “Alright, son, just bow your head and pray. I’ll watch and tell you.”
The younger man bowed his head and when they went around the bend, the preacher yelled, “Son, open your eyes! Look!”
When the young man opened his eyes, he saw pieces of white cloth tied to every limb in the tree. His mom and dad had taken every sheet and pillowcase in the house, ripped them up, and tied hundreds of strings to the branches. No matter the circumstances, every genuinely loving parent will always welcome home a child—and so does God.
If you have run far from God, done everything ungodly you can, and wound up broken, bruised, and wounded, He is waiting for you to turn to Him so He can welcome you back into His arms. If your story is like that of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11-31), then repent of your sins and run back into the Father’s arms where He’ll be waiting to receive you.
NO MATTER HOW FAR AWAY YOU’VE BEEN, SIMPLY TURN TO CHRIST, RUN TO HIM, AND HE’LL WELCOME YOU HOME.