All Christians are familiar with the Parable of the Prodigal Son, but Philip Yancey in his book What's So Amazing about Grace, puts a new twist on this beloved story. The Runaway appears here edited to fit the Contemporary Parable format.
After a very severe argument, a teenage daughter, who tries her parents' patience often, decides to run away to Detroit, a city known for its gangs, drugs and violence. There she meets a man who offers her a place to stay and gives her pills which make her happy and content. Before long, she is living in a penthouse as a prostitute.
When disease ravages her body, she is thrown out on the street where she continues to turn tricks to support her drug habit.
Sick, cold and frightened, she calls her parents and leaves a message informing them she is coming home, arriving by bus at midnight the next day. She tells her parents she will look for them in the terminal. If they are not there, she will get back on the bus and leave again.
The next day when she walks into the terminal, she is not prepared for what she sees. There stand 40 family members __ brothers, sisters, uncles, great aunts, cousins, a grandmother and a great grandmother. They are all wearing silly party hats and blowing on noisemakers. And on the wall, a huge WELCOME HOME sign.
She looks through tears as her Dad approaches, and she begins her speech. “Dad I’m sorry. I know I was wrong.” But Dad interrupts her, “Hush child. No time for apologies. You’ll be late for your party. A banquet is waiting for you at home."
In the stories of the Runaway and the Prodigal Son, we learn of God’s amazing grace. No catch. No strings. All we must do is cry, “Help” and God welcomes us home, forgiven and free. And that's what is so amazing about God’s grace!
"For by grace you have been saved through faith—and this not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works … " (Ephesians 2:8-9)