You are Welcome Here by Helen Sherwin

I know you think you’re not welcome but you are,
I miss you,
Fear grips at my insides when I think about what might have happened to you,
I am waiting,
I am longing actually,
Longing for you to come into my line of sight,
At that point I will start running,
And I won’t stop running until I embrace you.

I’m here again outside the house by the gate,
Watching for you,
Waiting to see if you’ll come,
Your brother thinks I’m mad to do this each day,
That I’m torturing myself.

Come on home to me my dear,
For the meal is ready,
Choose me and I will throw you a party,
The best you’ve ever seen!
Everything is prepared,
In the hope that you would come.

I look to the horizon,
I think I see a figure far off,
Way in the distance,
But my vision is blurred by tears,
I am imagining it again,
Perhaps your brother is right,
I turn to the house and dry my eyes on my shirt.

Don’t you know you are still welcome?
It is my house and you are welcome,
I forgive you my child,
Don’t worry about him,
He will understand,
This is about my love for you,
The love a Father has for his second son,
Second but not least.

I will give you my ring!
Yes a ring for your finger,
A sign of your position in my house,
If you would only come.

I look back once more beyond the gate,
A figure draws nearer,
It is you –
It must be you,
But you look awful!
And afraid.

I am sure it’s you,
I’m running now,
and I won’t stop until our embrace,
I’ve been visualising this moment for years,
You are welcome here my son,
Please know you are so welcome.

“You Are Welcome Here” is based upon the Parable of the Prodigal Son – you may have guessed! The Prodigal Son is a story Jesus tells in Luke 15:13-32 (below in full). In the parable the story follows the movements of the son whereas here I focus on the perspective of the Father. This is not trying to be a theological commentary or to add anything new to an already beautiful story but rather the beautiful story of the Father’s love for us, is the inspiration for what is written here.

Luke 15:13-32

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

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