Once upon a time, there was a boy...
He was tired of living under his parents' rules and orders. Like most young men, he felt restless, and wanted to get away. He asked for his inheritance and, though unwilling, his father gave him the money he had saved for his son's life.
And the boy set out to live his own life.
He was rich, with the money he'd been given, and money has a subtle influence on those around it. The young man made a lot of friends and they wanted to have fun. Party led to party, and each extravaganza led to more and more spending. As fast as he had taken it, he had spent the entire sum of money.
And the boy, on his own, was destitute.
He looked for a job, but he could find nothing he wanted to do. His friends had left him, because parties were no longer an option. He was alone, on the streets, without a thing to call his own. But eventually, after searching for something, he was given a lowly, miserable job. He was paid hardly enough to eat.
So, in utter despair, he slunk back to his father. He staggered up the hill, slowly and reluctantly, knowing that his father could never be proud of the actions he had performed so willingly. But though he was a long way off, he could see a man running towards him. In an awkward embrace, his father clung to his son, hugging him and calling him, 'Son.'
And the boy was no longer on his own.
His father held a party, nothing in comparison to the son's. Everyone around came to celebrate the return of the lost son. He was honored and loved. Regardless of the thoughtless actions he had committed, the son was accepted and know amount of misdeeds could shake the bonds of love his father had for him.
And the boy was returned to his family, and he was loved.
Have you ever run away? Have you ever left the paths you had always tread, thinking you could forge your own path better? Have you ever felt so outcast that no one could love you or accept you again? Have hope, dear heart, for there is an answer to the worst of these problems. "The boy returned, and he was loved."
My own father directed a feature film about this story; this story of rebellion, of pride, this story of forgiveness and of love. We want to share it with the world, because the world has run away. Maybe, if they hear the distant call of a Father's embracing love, they can have the courage and humility to come back.
"And the boy was forever loved by his Father, despite what he had done. And the boy was forgiven of all his past deeds, and as the Father placed his robe about his son, he was made clean. And the boy was forever loved."