Monday, February 20, 2012

Cheap Trick

As a Freshman in high school, I remember being invisible.

The next year, my sister is a Freshman, and people make the connection,
"Oh, you're HER sister. She's really great."

When I am a Junior in high school, Heaven Tonight will be our prom theme, the title cut from the album by Cheap Trick.

There is a Cheap Trick concert nearby,
probably Minneapolis. In a moment of
bravery, I ask my parents if I can go.

I am told no.

I am disappointed.

I do not ask again.

A few days later a couple Senior girls ask my sister to go to the concert, invite her to see Cheap Trick with them. She asks and our parents say no.

Is she disappointed? I do not know.

What I remember is that she asks again. And again. And again. And again and again and again. In my mind's eye I can see her, smiling, asking, begging. Finally, my parents say yes. My sister, a Sophomore, goes to the Cheap Trick concert.

I stay home. My sister rocks.

In the hierarchy of high school, this is not a good outcome for me.

When Jesus tells the parable of the prodigal son, I am not the child who takes her inheritance and tastes life. Instead, I am the other daughter, the one who waits at home for her parents' blessing, is embittered by the freedom her sister tastes.

Most days, I am still bitter toward those with perceived authority. I often move forward without asking permission, bully my way through barriers. I've gotten pretty good at saying I'm sorry, begging and cajoling forgiveness in the aftermath.

"The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in.
His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen.
The son said, 'Look how many years I've stayed here serving
you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever
thrown a party for me and my friends?'"
—Luke 15:28-29 MSG

I am a daughter. I am a parent. I am a mother who has experienced both joy and pain, watched her children leave and welcomed them home.

The prodigal is still my least favorite parable.

Is it because I can see myself in multiple roles? Or, because as I try to fit into the role of prodigal, I find myself unworthy of forgiveness?

And I am walking the Wounded Heart journey again WHY?

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