I watched as my brother took his share one day, left us. I stayed, kept my hand to the plow, never tempted by the road he took. One day, he came back. To joy and celebration that was never given to me.
And I saw that I'm not the grateful son, I'm the rich and spoiled one. So in my life, I could have been more faithful, more trusting, more humble. I could have and should have been more content with the things that I have been given.
Even though my brother left, my father never did. When my brother came back, my father took him and hugged him tight. Even though I left from my father's embrace, he never cared for me any less.
I awoke this morning to the chorus of mullahs, roosters, generators, and horns. It was early, so I lay awake thinking for a while. A friend of mine is going through some things these days, and he comes in and talks to me about them. I try to give him advice, but it's hard, because some of the things he is dealing with are the same things I struggle with. I wondered why he kept coming in to talk to me, when my advice was so porous and poor. He told me yesterday he thought that I was always happy, never struggled with things. I tried to disabuse him of that notion, but I also realized that one of the reasons we get struggles is so that people can see how we deal with them. So if I am content or joyful despite struggles, I show my Father just as much as I can by many words.
I don't always take a hold of it, I don't always want to be here. Some days, I want to go Home, for this journey to be done. Soon enough it will be. Until then, I will struggle to be content, I will struggle to be steady, I will struggle to be the renamed and touched Jacob.
Though Your heart is often rent
Because of my darkness and descent
And from Your presence I am absent
Still You will grant to me to be content
I'm both sons. And no matter what, I see that you don't care where I'd been. You want me to come home.
Monday, March 10, 2008