Prodigal

Charlie Mackesy

Hello All. I am a Line of Duty widow tonight. I’ll be honest I was out when Thandie Newton came round on the kitchen floor and the man from Nativity! was standing over her with a chainsaw. Sometimes you just know when a programme isn’t going to be your thing. 
So, I thought I would just call in and show you this. This morning, the Vic was talking (extremely well) about the Prodigal Son and this painting was up on the screens. It is by Charlie Mackesy and I wanted you to see it. (By the way I have worked quite hard to get this to you. I hadn’t noticed that I had written Chris rather than Charlie in the search box (Helpful predictive Google) and I think I nearly broke the Internet. It gave me Christopher Biggins, Chris Eccleston , Chris Pratt (a LOT of Guardians of the Galaxy stuff with that one) a rapper called Prodigal and a lady teacher called Chris who has knitted some nice finger puppets. (I may have imagined that one) Like the rest of us, Google needs as much help as it can get sometimes.
Anyway – back to the picture.  I think it is extraordinary. I love the sense of collapse into the Father’s arms – the right hand, draped helplessly over is beautiful I think. Also the way the Father – overcome with emotion holds on so tight. Hugging him and kissing him. It is a beautiful and comforting picture of the Father’s Love. The Vic spoke really well about the unconditional love of a parent which HOH and I found really challenging.  A good morning, despite getting soaking wet in the South West’s first significant rain of the Spring and Aged Parent’s post church trip to the Co-op during which I once again failed as a daughter as I was unable to find two of her favourite ready-meals which were (a) not curry and (b) had no onions in. My life is blighted by my shortcomings.

Can I just tell you what else the painting made me think of? Today marks ten years since the disappearance of Madeline McCann. I know they have taken a lot of flack for one terrible mistake and there is probably some truth in the theory that working-class parents making the same mistake would have found the law of the land less forgiving. However, I can’t really imagine the pain they must go through every single day. The longing to have their child fall into their arms and to hug and kiss her must haunt their every waking moment. The Father’s love has proved itself to be an urgent, constant love. Those who have experienced it must know something of what the McCanns go though. They deserve our thoughts and prayers today.

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4 Comments

  1. May 1, 2017 / 8:35 am

    It is the feeling of complete relinquishment, of the knowledge that the boy has found safety,forgiveness, acceptance and just all encompassing love, that calls to me. What an amazing picture.

    Poor McCanns. I cannot imagine anything more searing than the loss of a child, and to be constantly vilified is just too sad. Does no one ever realise that we all make mistakes?

    • May 1, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      Yes! The feeling of relinquishment is brilliant here. Giving up all striving and finding safe arms.

  2. May 1, 2017 / 10:32 am

    I have just spent a glorious morning in my pjs, drinking coffee, chatting, and catching up on recorded TV. I got into Line Of Duty but OH didn't. Have had to watch in on catch up when he's been out [Sunday Nights is Grantchester anyway]
    But more importantly, what a fantastic picture. Thank you for all your efforts in finding it to share with us. My Dad always said "The Parable of the Prodigal Son" is the wrong name, because [a] there were 2 sons.and [b] more importantly, it is all about the Father.
    My heart aches for the McCanns, as you say, one awful mistake which will haunt them forever. I knew a number of medical personnel in Leicester who knew Gerry well – all spoke of them as a loving,caring couple. I am glad that their local community and their church have stood alongside them, these past 10 years – but the pain must be a daily reality. May God strengthen them and comfort them – and all other grieving parents. A reminder to never take our own children for granted.

    • May 1, 2017 / 1:23 pm

      Yes, I have done the same this morning – out of character but still lovely. I was also always taught that the parable was about the Father and also that it was about Prodigal "Sons" not singular and the other son is no great shakes either. I have to confess to identifying with the stay at home son. I wonder if other people – who have been Steady Eddie Christians all their lives and watch others with more easily identifiable wobbles, feel a bit the same. I need to be reminded about my place in God and how it came about.

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