The Bright Side: The prodigal

Published 12:14 pm Monday, October 30, 2023

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One of my favorite parables in scripture is the parable of the prodigal son. In the Gospel of Luke, Christ shares a story about a son that asks his father for his inheritance, and goes on to live this life of indulgence while squandering all of the money his father gave to him. Forced to work as a hired hand for a pig farmer, the now broke son wishes he could eat the pigs’ food. After setting aside his pride, the son goes back to his father to beg for forgiveness and become his servant.

What happens next moves me to the point of tears.

“While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began”. — Luke 15:20-24

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Christ uses this story to show us just how great God’s love is for us. The greatest sins cannot keep God from loving us. We could use and abuse Him time after time after time and He would still welcome us home with unconditional love. I experienced this first hand.

I turned my back on God for years. I always knew deep down that my actions were hurting God, but I had little remorse. My relationship with the church had already been on the rocks, and I felt like if I wasn’t going to church, then I wasn’t going to have a relationship with God at all. I went so far as to start using tarot cards and began practicing wicca, both of which I knew were very against God’s word. It left me with a void I could not fill, no matter where I looked.

When I finally asked God for forgiveness and came to terms with what I had done, He welcomed me with open arms. He filled me with so much light that I felt like I was glowing. Tears of joy streamed down my face for days and I still to this day cannot thank Him enough.

I have met many, many people who are prodigal sons and daughters. Some having made the journey home, some still on their way. I’ve met former coven leaders, atheists, Satanists, etc. that have found their way back to God, all of which sharing similar stories: God gave them His grace, celebrated their return, and the most tremendous joy filled their hearts. And those who are still searching, I’ve seen just how bright of a light they carry. Little do they know how great of an impact they will have on the world. Christ befriended sinners for a reason – those were the people he came to save.

God reminded me of the parable of the prodigal son this past week. There are several reasons for this, I believe: 1. Guilt will try it’s very best to wear us down until we break. Don’t let it, for God will grant us His grace if and when we ask for it, no matter what. 2. God loves us ALL. Each and every one of us, unconditionally. He hears our prayers, He moves mountains for us daily. We cannot forget that we have the greatest love of all right in the core of our hearts. 3. We meet prodigal sons and daughters every day. Let us not forget to have mercy on those who have sinned, and not be so quick to judge. Whatever part of the path others are on, we should always encourage them to keep going forward. We all have work to do. 4. If we are living a life of indulgence, how is it being fulfilled? If we have tried to blur the line between selfishness and selflessness, maybe it’s time to reevaluate our priorities. 5. The best is yet to come. Don’t give up.

Danielle Puleo is a staff writer for The Coastland Times. Reach her at