Monday Rewrite: Limping Home

A phone call:

Ah good morning, is that the estate agents? Yes, it’s Dan Mitchell here. Yes, I’m looking to sell some of my land and want to get an advert in your window. Well, a third of it to be honest. Yes, I know, that’s a pretty big chunk, isn’t it? But it’s my younger son, Mike, he’s wanting to go off travelling so I’m selling off his share and letting him have the cash now. No, I’m not joking, he asked and I said yes. No really, I’m serious, I did. I know it’s unprecedented, and it depletes what we have here, but you know Mike, he’s a strong headed boy. He’s bent on taking his share and going off. No the rest of the village aren’t too happy. They’re well put out about him making such a scandalous demand. One or two have been declaring him well and truly dead as far as they are concerned. They‘ve been quoting that bit from Deuteronomy 21 about stoning a wayward boy. But I calmed them down. Well, I told them he needs to go and learn for himself. All I can do is give him his freedom and wait to see what he does with it. My older boy, Pete? He’s in shock, of course, we’ll just be left with his two thirds of the estate, and he said to me this morning, ‘Dad if he ever comes back – give him nothing. What we have here is mine now, you let him have any of it and you’ll be throwing good money after bad.’ Yes, Pete’s hot-headed too in his own way.

Anyway, I need a fairly quick sale as Mike’s itching to get on the road. So I’ll pop down this morning and work through the papers with you. Oh by the way, you don’t have a strong pair of binoculars do you? It’s only that I may well be scanning the skyline for a while after he’s gone. Wouldn’t want to miss him if he should decide to come home. I might well need to get to him quick and shield him from any local Neighbourhood Watchers intent on hurling a few rocks. I joked to Pete that his brothers return would be a chance to throw a big party for the neighbourhood, roast the best calf and have some dancing. I always love parties and that would be the best reason to celebrate. No, oddly enough, Pete didn’t smile. He just stormed off back to work, and now refuses to talk to his brother. I think he’s been gathering a few stones himself to have ready just in case his brother should come limping back. Anyway, see you later.

(Inspired by thoughts from The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller)

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