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The young son had gone to San Francisco. He was out of money, out of friends, out of options. He had hit the bottom and was at wits ends. This lost son wrote a letter home to his parents living in the Seattle area. He wrote, “Dear Mom and Dad, I have sinned deeply against you. I have sinned against you and I have sinned against God and I am not worthy to be called your son. There is no reason for you to love me or welcome me back home. I am at the bottom of the barrel and I need to come back home. I hope that you would welcome me. I have been given a ticket for a train, a ticket to get me back to Seattle. The train comes past our farm south of Seattle. The train comes around the bend and right past our farmhouse. If you want me to come home, please put a white towel on the clothesline, out in the back yard near the tracks. I will then know that you want me to come back home. If there is no towel there, I understand. I will understand that it is not right for me to come back home.” The young man sent the letter, got on the train, and started heading north. As he came closer and closer to home, he became more nervous inside and was pacing up and down the centre aisle of the train. As the train came closer and closer to his farmhouse, he couldn’t bear it anymore. He was momentarily sitting next to a man, and he said to him, “Sir, around this next corner, this next bend, there is going to be a farm house of the left. A white house. An old red barn behind it. A dilapidated fence. There will be a clothesline in the back yard. Would you do me a favor and look and see if there is a white towel hanging on the clothesline? I know it sounds peculiar, but I can’t bear to look.” Well, the train came closer and closer to the bend and started to go around the bend, and the young man’s heart was racing as fast as it could. The man said, “Look, look, look. Open your eyes.” The whole clothesline was covered with white towels. The oak trees were covered with white sheets. The barn roof was covered with sheets. The old dilapidated fence was covered with white sheets. There were sheets everywhere. The father and mother so deeply wanted their son to come back home.

 

shared by Philippa Smyth @ The River this morning

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