I did not appreciate the Bible story of the Prodigal Son until I married that man, and it has taken on a loaded message for me over the years. I wrote about this here and here.
And yet I've wondered "what if," when it comes to the Prodigal Daughter. Would she be as welcomed? We often read of pregnant girls who can't go home, women who are shunned because they've had intercourse outside of marriage, or chosen to marry someone they love rather than into an arranged marriage. We've heard of women abused and disfigured because of their choosing a different life, a different path, or even simply education, or pants. In fact - I had a terrible experience as a young mother where I was shamed and shunned and preached to and pamphleted after choosing to go to work while my two were young.
Michelle Shocked sings about the Prodigal Daughter. While I can't download this tune, it can be found on her Arkansas Traveler Album. The lyrics are brilliant.
This version has been in the back of my mind for years, every time I hear of, or see, a woman shunned or falsely accused, or so beaten down that she doesn't even know where home is, or a man receive accolades when they are not his to receive.
This week I read the below poem, and it shared with me another perspective to the story - that of the mother waiting for her child to come home and greeting that child. Brought me to tears.