I never followed them on their visits to the prison. But the pain in their faces, as they later told me how my brother was fairing, showed how heart wrenching those visits had been. My adopted brother refused to accept the love of my parents. Contrary to their efforts to love him and “save” him, my brother ended up following a path that landed him in prison, where he has been, off and on, for the past 25 years or so.
My parents’ love has been real and sincere, yet it wasn’t enough to save my brother from a life of crime. My brothers’ heart remained shut, like those prison doors. Yet my parents’ hearts remained open; still pouring their love on my brother, as you might pour water on a thirsty man who refuses to drink.
I like to compare parents’ relationships with their children, to Gods relationship with us. As our heavenly parent, God wants to love us and save us. And contrary to His efforts, many of us refuse to accept His love. Yet like my parents, God doesn’t give up.
I have seen the pain my parents endured, and continue to endure, by loosing their son to crime and prison. Imagine the pain God must feel for every one of us who turn our backs on His love? But like the father in the story of the prodigal son, God never takes His eyes off the horizon, looking for us to return to Him.