In his book Sky Pilot, Ralph Connor tells of a young man who wandered from a good home in Scotland to one of the ranches in the Wild West. One day, as the pilot was making his rounds and going from shack to shack, he heard someone singing Psalm 23. He made his way to the shack from whence the sound was coming and there found the young man dying. He had been brought up in a good Christian home, but now he lay dying an early death through the sins he had committed.
The pilot spoke tenderly to the lad, and then he was asked to read a letter which had come to the boy from his mother that very day. He read it, and the letter closed something like this: “And oh! Davie laddie, if ever your heart should turn homeward, remember the door stands widely open, and there is nothing but joy that you will bring to us all.”
That is the distinctive message of the parable of the prodigal son. There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Taken by permission from “Prodigals and Those Who Love Them,” By Ruth Bell Graham. ©1991, 1999, The Ruth Bell Graham Literary Trust.