Nick stood in front of his family home. He hesitated in taking another step for what seemed like the millionth time. He stood there battling the strong urge to run towards his home. Nick wanted to fling the doors open announcing his return but the strong fear of not being accepted because of his mistakes held him back. He left home nearly two years ago on the worst of terms.
Inside the house, Nick could hear sounds of joy and laughter. The smell of spiced chicken and baked potatoes permeated his nostrils making his stomach growl in desperation. How he longed for the warmth that only his family could give; lately it seemed that all he had ever known was the cold- sleeping out in the cold and eating cold left overs.
Nick’s attitude had become so cold that he wondered if he was still human. He instinctively beat his head with the palm of his hand and wondered how he could have wandered so far away from home; how his heart had drawn a million miles away in just an instant. Large tear drops threatened to burst forth when he recalled the night he rebelled against his parents’ instructions.
“I can take care of myself you know!” he retorted as his father patiently attempted to correct him.
He was wrong. He took to drinking and living life on the streets; a life which he could not even understand. Standing…gazing at the old familiar front door brought back a deep longing to belong again. He wanted the security and love he felt so many years ago when surrounded by his family.
Nick decided to leave giving in to his pride engulfed in fear. Turning to leave he was startled as snoopy the family dog, emerged from a thick bush. Snoopy excitedly jumped up to meet him…knocking him off balance causing his knees to give way.
“Snoopy, keep it down will you, you are going to alert everyone,” Nick said letting out a laugh. As if Snoopy understood him, he let out a loud squeal and barked endlessly as if to call the family.
“Snoopy, no! shhhh…….” Nick hissed but it was too late, the front door flew open and out came his family, his dad, mom and two sisters.
“Daddy, its Nicky!” little Jennifer shrilled in excitement as she ran towards Nick with her outstretched arms.
Nick’s mom placed her hands over her face to avoid breaking down in tears. In true gratitude she let out a loud, “Thank you Jesus!” At his mother’s exclamation Nick battled to keep himself from crying. In a matter of seconds Nick was smothered in embraces and drenched in joyful tears. Pulling away from everyone, Nick faced his father.
“Dad, dad, I’m…. I’m sorry,” Nick stammered in between sobs. “I just never imagined the pain….”
“Shhhh….,” Nick’s father gently placed his hand on Nick’s shoulder. “Welcome home son, I’ve been waiting for this day to come.”
The forgiveness he felt from his father’s words overwhelmed him. Looking into his father’s eyes he was reminded of the prodigal son, who had gone to a faraway country in rebellion and wasted his inheritance. In the end the rebellious son was lovingly welcomed home.
Nick made a series of bad decisions in the past two years but received a chance to make it right and the rest didn’t matter.