This is the Forward, written by Dan Wolgemuth, president of Youth for Christ, to book by Judy Douglass entitled When You Love a Prodigal: 90 Days of Grace for the Wilderness:
“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20 ESV)
“… while he was still a long way off …”
A long way off. A chasm of shame and guilt and regret and anger and bitterness and despair… a chasm that only love and grace can navigate.
Jesus, the teacher of all teachers, teaches us. To love prodigals. To love in a way that crosses the chasm. While the prodigal is still a very, very long way off.
Jesus doesn’t minimize the distance, He resources it. Fuel for the journey, fire for the soul.
Traversing the pain-filled, doubt-littered, fear-exploding route of redemption.
A son … two sons … one consumed with pleasure, the other consumed by the pursuit of power and control. Both prodigals. Both lost and demanding. Both a burden.
Enter the love of a father. The Father.