Daily Reflection
March 22nd, 2003
Joan Lanahan
Chaplain, Occupational & Physical Therapy Programs
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32


Years ago when I first started with spiritual direction, my feminine director suggested: 
        "whenever you pray the psalms, and the psalmist proclaims 'fear of the Lord' change that to 'love of the Lord'." 
That has always made sense to me. 

Today's psalm has a line: 
        "so surpassing is God's kindness toward those who fear him". 
Translate that "fear" to "love" and we have a picture of the Father of the Prodigal Sons.  I think both sons are prodigal.  While one leaves home with wealth, loses it all in disolute living and returns asking forgiveness, the older one is not really open to the Father's love he lives with each day.

I am not a "Father" and never will be.  I can only imagine what our Almighty Father might be feeling when his son/daughter returns...or becomes aware of being loved.

Our family was blessed with a loving, kind and generous father though I know some haven't been as fortunate.  I remember my father flying from Philadelphia to Colorado to help one of my sisters when she was having a rough time.  On the way home, he stopped in Chicago to spend some time with me.  He also took my brother to auto races when Frank was young because he liked them.  To Pops, they were too noisy but his love cut through the noise.

We can all think of fathers we have known, though perhaps not our own, who were/are able to reach out to family members and others who are in one of life's messes.  It is their personal presence and caring that matters.

The God of Micah who 
        "pardons sins, does not persist in anger forever, delights in clemency and compassion" 
is also the God of the Prodicals.  It may be hard to believe that a Father-God can love a murderer on death row, or a Hitler, or a Saddham, or others who commit heinous crimes, but Jesus tells us it is so.  Sometimes it is hard to believe God loves us just where we are, the stay at home and be good Prodigal, when we don't feel loveable.

God the Lover is a great and challenging and gorgeous mystery to us.  God does love us always and in all ways. 

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook