It took only a few days for him to become restless.
There was still roast beef left over from the great party.
And after the days and weeks wore on,
his ability to engage in the affairs of the family business waned,
later and later getting into the fields,
later and later staying up drinking too much wine.
It was soon obvious that staying was not an option he could endure,
and all too easily plans of his escape washed over him.
And his father knew.
All along, even as he ran to welcome him home,
his father knew,
that he would not, could not, stay.
Oh Good God, teach me to love like you, unconditionally.
Help me to celebrate my younger brother’s life,
to share what I have with him,
to let go entirely of self-righteousness and resentment.
Inspire me to stuff money in his pockets when he is not looking
and pack his favorite food for the journey.
Let me kiss him “so long for now” and
assure him of his welcome the next time,
the next time,
that after our father has passed,
I will be the one running to welcome him home.