“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20, NLT).
The parable of the prodigal or lost son is probably my favorite of all Jesus’ stories and one of the best looks into the character of God. The son had basically told his dad to drop dead, took his inheritance and ran off to live a wild, irresponsible life. What did the father do? Disown him and declare he had no son? No, he waited for his son to return to him, leaving the light on so to speak, watching for him, loving him and never giving up.
God grieves as his children – all of humanity – live as they please, backs turned, hearts hardened, but he is the dad who never gives up. God’s compassion encompasses all and he loves his prodigals (all of us) back home.